Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Mike Weir April 15, 2019

Hill Happenings

Appropriations and Budget

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have agreed to begin negotiating a new two-year deal to raise current budget caps.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) said that she plans to honor the $631 billion non-defense cap and $664 billion defense limit proposed by the Investing for the People Act.

Administration Activities

STD Federal Action Plan

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) is hosting listening sessions as it begins to develop a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Federal Action Plan. 

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019: Virtual Listening Session from 3:30 - 5:00 PM (EDT). Click here to register.
  • Thursday, May 9, 2019: Virtual Listening Session from 3:00 - 5:00 PM (EDT). Click here to register.

OHAIDP is also preparing to publish a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register to solicit written comments for the STD Federal Action Plan. NASTAD will provide updates once more information is released. 

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Reorganization

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) announced a new organizational structure. Under the new structure, the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) will merge with the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) into a newly renamed office, the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP). Additionally, the Office of Adolescent Health will move within the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) and all Title X family planning project staff in the 10 HHS regional offices will now report directly to OPA headquarters.

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day

April 10 was National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD). The CDC provided free tools in the NYHAAD Resource Center to help in supporting awareness activities and testing events.

Ryan White Part B Supplemental Grant Application

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) recently released the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program States/Territories Part B Supplemental Grant Program announcement. The amount of funding awarded will be determined by the applicants ability to demonstrate the need for supplemental funding to provide comprehensive HIV care and treatment services for people living with HIV (PLWH) in the state/territory. HRSA expects approximately $86,151,000 to be available to fund up to 30 recipients. There will be a technical assistance webinar for applicants on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 from 2:30-4:00 PM EDT. Applications are due by May 28, 2019.

FDA Antiretroviral Approval

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Dovato (dolutegravir/lamivudine), the first two-drug, single-tablet antiretroviral regimen for use by people living with HIV initiating treatment for the first time. The Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) released a statement welcoming the FDA approval.


NASTAD released the Engaging and Retaining the Latinx Community in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B and ADAP fact sheet. This fact sheet outlines how the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B Program and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) can support access to medications and tailor related Part B Program services for Latinx persons living with HIV.

Schools Are Vital in the Fight Against Youth HIV Infection

Stakeholders Now Invited to Join HHS to Highlight Growing Elimination Efforts In United States

“As May Hepatitis Awareness Month approaches, the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) invites you to join us in highlighting efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States. We are developing a new webpage to feature a map of hepatitis elimination projects from across the United States, Mapping Hepatitis Elimination in Action.” Submissions are due by April 22. 

Evidence Informed Approaches to Improving Health Outcomes for PLWH

NASTAD is leading a collaborative partnership with Northwestern University’s Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology and Howard Brown Health Center  in response to HRSA-18-048, Evidence Informed Approaches to Improving Health Outcomes for People Living with HIV as part of HRSA’s Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS). The project purpose is to identify, catalog, disseminate, and support the replication of evidence-informed approaches and interventions to engage people living with HIV (PLWH) who are not receiving, or who are at risk of not continuing to receive HIV healthcare. We are requesting assistance in completing or disseminating our Request for Information (RFI) which is designed to cast a wide net to identify interventions, models, or best practices being implemented in your jurisdictions. We are interested in reaching clinical or non-clinical providers who are knowledgeable about the implementation and/or evaluation process of interventions that involve: the use of acuity scales to identify people at risk of falling out of care, the use of provider/surveillance data to identify people out of care, innovative clinical/structural system level approaches to re-engage or retain people in care. The RFI will remain open until Tuesday, April 30. Should you have any questions, please contact Rosy Galvan or Natalie Cramer.

Upcoming Meetings

2019 National Sexual Health Conference 

The 2019 National Sexual Health Conference will take place July 10-12 in Chicago, IL. The conference aims to create opportunities to share information, efforts, and best practices around sexual health across the lifespan by bridging the varied disciplines of education, advocacy, and clinical care, among others. Registration is currently open

Job Opportunities 

Surveillance Director– West Virginia 

The West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services is hiring a Surveillance Director for the Division of STD and HIV within the Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services. This posting is open until July 7, 2019. 

Communicable Disease Prevention Program Manager– Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Health is hiring a Communicable Disease Prevention Program Manager within their Communicable Disease Unit. This posting is open until filled. 

HIV Planner– Texas

The UT-Austin Health Innovation and Evaluation Team and the Texas Department of State Health Services is hiring for an HIV Planner within their HIV Care Services Group and the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch Planning team.

Bureau Chief– Houston, Texas

The Houston Health Department is hiring a Bureau Chief for their Bureau of HIV/STD & Viral Hepatitis Prevention within their Disease Prevention and Control division. This posting closes on April 17, 2019.

News Bulletin

How HHS Secretary Reconciles Proposed Medicaid Cuts, Stopping The Spread Of HIV

“Trump's push to end HIV in the U.S. has inspired a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism from public health officials and patient advocates. Enthusiasm, because the plan seems to be rooted in data and is led by officials who have strong credentials in regards to HIV/AIDS. Skepticism, because of the administration's history of rolling back protections for LGBTQ people, many of whom the program will need to reach to be successful.”

Coverage Of Federally Recommended Preventive Services: Considerations For Eliminating HIV Transmission By 2030

“Heightened national attention following the plan presents a significant opportunity to ensure optimal coverage and access to HIV preventive services across health insurance markets. Current requirements regarding access and coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are fragmented and unclear across commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, and AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) markets, presenting numerous opportunities for states and federal agencies to use existing authority to ensure better coverage and access for at-risk patients.”