Ending the HIV Epidemic Newsletter

By Mike Weir December 22, 2020

NASTAD, with collaboration from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), distributes a monthly newsletter to Phase 1 Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) jurisdictions. The newsletter informs recipients of EHE related policy updates, communications from federal partners, success stories, and other related EHE information. As the CDC PS19-1906 National Partner and HRSA-20-089 Systems Coordinator Provider recipients, NASTAD also launched an EHE website to house programmatic updates, share strategies and outcomes from Phase 1 jurisdictions, and connect health departments with the community. For questions, comments, or content contributions, please contact Mike Weir.

Administration Updates

PS19-1906 Deadline Extended to December 31 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

The deadline to submit final/updated EHE plans through PS19-1906 Component B has been extended to December 31. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the deadline to accommodate changes in organizational capacity among health department staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans should be submitted to the EHE NOFO mailbox and must include a 1-2 page Executive Summary, updated EHE plan, Letter of Concurrence from the HIV Planning Group/Council, documentation of community engagement activities, and ensure the EHE plan is posted on an active public-facing website.

HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care FY2021 EHE Funding Opportunity 

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) released the FY2021 Ending the HIV Epidemic - Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (HRSA-21-092). HRSA estimates approximately $83 million to be available annually to fund 300 recipients located in EHE Phase 1 Jurisdictions, with the goal of increasing the number of health centers in the geographic locations that are focused on HIV prevention. PCHP applications are due in Grants.gov on Tuesday, February 2 2021 by 11:59 PM ET.

World AIDS Day Resources and Activities

World AIDS Day (WAD) was held on December 1. The CDC has provided free tools in the WAD Resource Center to help support awareness activities and testing events. 

The Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy held a special Live with Leadership - World AIDS Day Edition conversation to learn directly from key HHS and community leaders about new and ongoing work to further the EHE initiative. For more details, please see the recording from the session.

President-Elect Biden Nominations and Appointments

President-elect Biden appointed Ambassador Susan Rice to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC). As the White House Domestic Policy Advisor and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Rice will have broad jurisdiction over the formulation and implementation of the President-elect’s domestic policy agenda. As such, she will play a large role in realizing the new Administration’s healthcare agenda. The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), which the Biden Administration has said it will reinstate, is housed within the DPC.

President-elect Biden also nominated Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Pending Senate confirmation, Congresswoman Fudge will be the first woman to lead HUD in more than 40 years and the second Black woman to lead the department. A longtime champion of affordable housing, urban revitalization, infrastructure investment, and other reforms to enhance the safety, prosperity, and sustainability of American communities, Congresswoman Fudge is tasked with redirecting the agency following several harmful changes implemented by the Trump Administration.

HHS Releases First-Ever Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan

Through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and its Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), HHS released the nation’s first STI National Strategic Plan (STI Plan). The STI Plan provides a roadmap for all types of stakeholders – including federal, state, tribal, and local public health officials and policymakers – to strengthen the nation’s response to and reduce the STI epidemic.

PACHA Virtual Meeting

The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) held its 69th full Council meeting virtually on December 2 and 3, 2020. For more details, please access the recording from this session.

Legislative Updates

FY2021 Appropriations and COVID-19 Relief

On December 21, the House and Senate passed a package that includes an omnibus bill to complete FY2021 funding and a COVID-19 stimulus bill. The package passed by a vote of 359-53 in the House and 92-6 in the Senate. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.

The FY2021 spending package includes the following EHE funding increases: +$35 million for CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, +$35 million for the Ryan White Program, +$52 million for Community Health Centers, and +$5 million for the Indian Health Services (HIV & hepatitis). NASTAD will provide additional information detailing the final spending levels.

The $900 billion relief bill includes money for direct stimulus payments, unemployment benefits, and key health funding: $9 billion for vaccine distribution; $22 billion to states for testing and contact tracing; $4.5 billion for mental health programs; $1 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and $1 billion for the Indian Health Service.

Resources

Ending the HIV Epidemic Jurisdictional Directory

NASTAD maintains an Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Jurisdictional Directory. The directory provides a list of local and state points of contact for EHE-related community engagement activities. Aiming to increase community participation, the directory also includes EHE websites, EHE jurisdictional plans, and social media accounts if available. NASTAD coordinates the directory as the HRSA-20-089 Systems Coordination Provider and CDC PS19-1906 National Partner. The directory is available through NASTAD’s EHE website and it is used to populate additional national contact lists. Health department staff members are encouraged to update their jurisdiction’s information using this brief form.  

Webinar: Implementing Self-Testing for HIV and PrEP Monitoring

The third webinar in the series Self-Testing Strategies for HIV Testing and PrEP Access will be held on January 13, from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM ET. This webinar, Integrating Self-Testing for PrEP with Providers and Partnersfocuses on various models currently in place within organizations by highlighting the overall model, outreach efforts, order fulfillment, and resources available to promote within communities. Please click here to register for this webinar.

The second webinar in the series, Implementing Self-Testing for HIV and PrEP Monitoring, was held on December 3. Please click here to access the recording, presentation slides, and participant questions.

The initial webinar in the series, Providing At-Home Testing Through the BHOC Partnership, held on October 15, 2020. The recording, presentation slides, and questions posed during the first webinar can be accessed on NASTAD’s website by following this link.

NASTAD Workshop: Addressing Implicit Bias for Enhancing HIV Prevention Programs

Dates: January 25 – 26, 2021

Join NASTAD for our upcoming workshop, “Addressing Implicit Bias for Enhancing HIV Prevention Programs,” being held through our Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) program. The workshop will be hosted through two interactive virtual sessions on January 25-26, 2021. Due to the early influx of registrants, the new deadline for registration is December 23. Participants will receive further information and Zoom links closer to the workshop date.

This workshop is designed for health department HIV prevention program staff and CBO staff. This video provides a brief introduction to implicit bias and its impact on HIV prevention efforts and can provide insight into topics that will be discussed in the workshop. Two staff members from each organization can attend, so please review the agenda topics to help determine which staff will register. Space is limited. The workshop is open ONLY to participants from CDC directly-funded health departments and CBOs in the Southern CBA region of the U.S. (including AL, AR, Baltimore, DC, DE, FL, GA, Houston, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV).

NASTAD Webinar: Virtual Condom Distribution as a Structural Intervention

Dates: February 8 – 9, 2021

Registration is now open for the NASTAD workshop, “Condom Distribution as a Structural Intervention,” being held through our Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) program. The workshop will be hosted through two interactive virtual sessions on February 8-9, 2021. This workshop is designed for HD HIV prevention program staff and CBO staff. Moreover, the workshop is open ONLY to participants from CDC directly-funded HDs and CBOs in the Southern CBA region of the U.S. Registration will be open through February 1, 2021.

Regional EHE Community Engagement Virtual Town Halls

Noting that community engagement is paramount to the success of the EHE initiative, CDC partnered with regional CBA providers (AIDS United, California Prevention Training Center, NYC CBA, NASTAD) to host virtual Regional Community Engagement Town Hall Sessions Nov. 17 – 20. The town halls served to educate, encourage, and empower community members to participate in local EHE planning processes. Recordings of the town halls are forthcoming.

Self-Testing for HIV and STIs through Local Health Departments: Survey Reveals Barriers, Opportunities

“To better understand the landscape of HIV/STI self-testing at LHDs, NACCHO launched a brief survey to collect information about LHD approaches and challenges to implementing self-testing programs. Survey results demonstrated a large gap in at-home testing capacity in local public health.”

HOPWA Resource Tool Helps Jurisdictions Plan for and Evaluate Housing Needs

A new tool is available to assist EHE Phase 1 jurisdictions and stakeholders in evaluating and planning for housing needs for people with HIV. The development of the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Resource Tool was a collaborative effort between the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing, which administers the HOPWA program, and HHS’ Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy.

NASTAD Resource: PrEP Generics Entering the US. Market: FAQs

NASTAD is pleased to announce the release of a new resource created to address the many changes to the PrEP drug landscape, including the introduction of generics for PrEP in the United States. As new drugs are approved for PrEP and generic options become available, more questions have come up about what these changes mean for the PrEP access. Titled, PrEP Generics Entering the US. Market: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), this FAQ provides current information on the introduction of PrEP generics, potential coverage changes related to the changing PrEP drug market, and the impact on PrEP access.

News

COVID-19 Stymies Plan To End HIV in America

“In adjusting to the pandemic, “almost every health department has had staff detailed away from their normal activities, to respond to COVID-19,” including 75% of HIV prevention program staff, and 57% of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program staff, according to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.”

Join NACCHO’s Harm Reduction Listserv for Funding and Technical Assistance

To support our growing harm reduction portfolio, NACCHO is launching a new listserv where we’ll share harm reduction opportunities, resources, news, information, and evidence-based science on an ad-hoc basis. Sign up to be the first to know about NACCHO’s forthcoming funding and technical and capacity building assistance opportunities.