Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Mike Weir October 1, 2018

Hill Happenings

FY2019 Appropriations 

President Trump signed the FY2019 Defense-Labor-Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding package. The House voted 361-61 to approve the measure. A detailed appropriations chart, including the HIV community requests, can be found here

NASTAD released this statement, in partnership with AIDS United, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute, on the passage of the FY2019 funding package. The Coalition for Health Funding released a statement praising the bipartisan funding measure.

NASTAD will continue to monitor the appropriations process and advocate for the highest funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs. 

Opioid Package

The House and Senate reached an agreement on a sweeping opioid package, SUPPORT for Patients and Communities ActBloomberg Government provided a summary of the provisions here. The House Energy and Commerce Committee provided a section by section summary. The House voted 393-8 to pass the conferenced bill. The Senate is expected to take up the measure this week, and the President is expected to sign the legislation. 

Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness

The House unanimously approved the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPAI). The Senate has also released their companion bill. The Senate is expected to approve their version of the bill within the coming weeks. It is unclear how Congress will proceed with final approval of PAHPAI. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) released a Legislative Alert of the House bill. 


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Senate’s PEPFAR reauthorization bill, S. 3476. The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a markup on their PEPFAR reauthorization bill, which was introduced in the House in August. NASTAD signed onto a letter supporting the reauthorization bill. 

Administration Activities

National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

September 27 was National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided free tools in the NGMHAAD Resource Center to help in supporting your awareness activities and testing events. 

Office of AIDS Research

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) recently released the FY 2019/2020 NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research

Opioid Funding

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded $50 million in grants to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to combat opioid misuse and overdose.

STD Report

The CDC released the Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2017 report.  The reports shows that “nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017”— 200,000 more cases than in 2016, marking the fourth year in a row that STDs increased sharply in the U.S. The report highlighted “that emerging resistance to azithromycin is now on the rise in laboratory testing — with the portion of samples that showed emerging resistance to azithromycin increasing from 1 percent in 2013 to more than 4 percent in 2017.” The CDC released this fact sheet providing highlights from the 2017 report. 

CDC DHAP Personnel Updates

Dr. Stan A. Phillip, Jr. has been selected to serve as Chief, Prevention Program Branch (PPB), in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) at CDC.  Dr. Phillip has served as the Acting Branch Chief, PPB, since September 2016. Prior to serving in this acting capacity, he served as the PPB Deputy Chief for five years. Dr. Phillip first came to CDC in 2005, serving as an HIV prevention project officer and responsible for the monitoring of numerous health department and community-based organization HIV prevention programs.  

Female Condom Reclassification 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final order to reclassify single-use female condoms, renaming the device to “single-use internal condom.” According the Federal Register Notice, the “order reclassifies single-use internal condoms from class III to class II and reduces regulatory burden because these types of devices will no longer be required to submit a premarket approval application (PMA), but can instead submit a less burdensome 510(k) before marketing their device.” NASTAD worked with coalition and community partners on the reclassification. 

Member News

Randy Mayer, Chief, Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis at the Iowa Department of Public Health has been appointed to ASTHO’s Infectious Disease Policy Committee for the 2018/2019 term.

Upcoming Conferences

2018 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment

The 2018 Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment will be held December 11-14, 2018 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Late registration for the conference is open until October 12, 2018. 

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) 2018 Clinical Conference

The RWHAP Clinical Conference will be held on December 9-11 in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The conference is open to any RWHAP-funded clinical prescriber--Parts A-F. Registration for the Clinical Conference is now available.

2019 National HIV Prevention Conference

The 2019 National HIV Prevention Conference will be held March 18-21, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out the updated website for more information about tracks and to view the tentative conference schedule. 

2019 HIV Diagnostics Conference

The 2019 HIV Diagnostics Conference will be held in Atlanta on March 25-28, 2019. The conference will address advances in diagnostic testing, and strategies for using test technologies in public health programs and clinical practice. The conference program this year expands beyond HIV testing, and incorporates STI and HCV testing technologies and strategies, with an emphasis on integrating testing programmatically. As with past conferences, there will be a mix of oral presentations, panel discussions, and poster sessions. We strongly encourage health department HIV, HCV, and STI testing program managers and other staff consider submitting an abstract, attending the conference.  Abstract submission for the conference opens on September 15, 2018.  Abstract submission for the conference is open.  


STEPS to Care, a new online tool kit to support engagement in HIV care, is now available for download on the Effective Interventions website.

National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

The Trust for America’s Health has announced 4-part webinar series called, Taking Action to Promote Health Equity—Using the Lessons from Cutting-Edge Practices to Improve Health and Well Being.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released an updated collection of state Medicaid fact sheets.

News Bulletin

The end of HIV transmission in the U.S.: A once-unthinkable dream becomes an openly discussed goal

“In some cases, the problem of too little PrEP prescribing is due to a lack of training, and in other cases, something else may be at play, suggested Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the New York Department of Health’s deputy commissioner of disease control.

“We still have to sell this to [clinicians] who are like, ‘Why would I be offering people PrEP, if it’s going to encourage them to have condomless sex?’” he said. “And our answer tends to be, ‘They’re already having condomless sex and this prevents HIV.’”

Why Payers Sometimes Restrict Access To Single Tablet Regimens For HIV Patients

“In the U.S., payer non-coverage of the entire class of STRs has seldom been an issue. But coverage of newer STRs has been a problem. Further, payers have placed restrictions on STRs, including prior authorization, high patient cost sharing, and step therapy. A number of Medicaid plans have required prior authorization, and some insurers in the health insurance marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act have employed restrictive formulary designs for HIV therapies.”