Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Mike Weir July 1, 2019

Hill Happenings

FY2020 Appropriations 

The House passed the second minibus package that combines Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD by a vote of 227-194. The T-HUD bill includes $410 million for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program. 

The AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition (ABAC) previously sent a letter urging House appropriators to support funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and the first ever dedicated funding to combat HIV and hepatitis C at the Indian Health Service.

Prevention and Public Health Fund

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA-6) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introducing a bill to earmark $2 billion a year for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF).The PPHF currently is funded around $800 million.

NASTAD signed onto a letter urging members to increase funding for the PPHF.  

Administration Activities

Ryan White Part A Grant Awards

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) awarded $981,763 in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants to 10 metropolitan areas that are Part A jurisdictions to provide technical assistance to enhance efforts to end the HIV epidemic. 

Overdose Deaths

According to new provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate at which Americans are dying from drug overdoses is falling, with about 69,100 drug-overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in November 2018, compared with 72,300 predicted deaths in the previous 12-month span.

CDC ETE NOFO

The CDC released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcement for PS19-1906: Strategic Partnerships and Planning to Support Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States. Letters of intent were due on June 19, 2019 and the application deadline is July 12, 2019. This NOFO is part of the Administration’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for Americainitiative.

Category A of the NOFO will fund “a national organization to enhance the health departments' capacity to support integrated HIV programs; ensure development and maintenance of strategic communication channels and partnerships that advance national HIV prevention goals and contribute to ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S.” Category B will fund “eligible health departments to conduct a rapid planning process that engages the community, HIV planning bodies, HIV prevention and care providers, and other partners in aligning resources and activities to develop jurisdictional End the HIV Epidemic plans.”

Resources

NASTAD released Addressing Stigma in Healthcare Facilities: A “Secret Shopper” Intervention detailing an innovative practice to measuring quality of care in health facilities.

Upcoming Meetings

Fast-Track Cities 2019

Fast-Track Cities 2019 will take place September 8-11, 2019, in London. This will be the first international conference of more than 270 cities and municipalities, including from the United States, that are accelerating their responses to HIV, tuberculosis, and viral hepatitis. The conference’s aim is to highlight successes achieved across the Fast-Track Cities network, address cross-cutting challenges faced by local stakeholders, and share best practices in accelerating urban AIDS responses, inclusive of co-infectious diseases and comorbid conditions. Registration is currently open.

Job Opportunities 

Epidemiologist II– Massachusetts 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is hiring an Epidemiologist II within their Office of Health Care Planning of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences. This posting is open until filled. 

Director, Ryan White– Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Health is hiring for a Director within their Ryan White Part B Program. This posting is open until filled. 

News Bulletin

HIV Is Spreading in West Virginia. The Solution Is in Short Supply

“HIV cases are surging in Huntington, West Virginia, a city already ravaged by the opioid epidemic. Experts worry that the virus could proliferate farther still—particularly since Charleston, the state capital an hour away, shut down its syringe exchange last year. The move restricted access not only to clean needles but to HIV testing as well.”