Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Garrett Eberhardt October 28, 2019

Hill Happenings

Second Spending Stopgap Looms as FY2020 Appropriations Roadblocks Remain

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) has stated that “unless a miracle happens” another continuing resolution (CR) through March 2020 seems likely to keep the federal government funded and avoid a shutdown. Informal negotiations on the next CR have begun. House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) has suggested that 302(b) subcommittee allocation negotiations must still be agreed upon before real progress can be made toward finalizing fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations. While the Senate considers a “minibus” bill in the Senate, which includes the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Agriculture appropriations bills, movement continues to be stalled on the more contentious second “minibus,” which includes Homeland Security and Labor-HHS appropriations.

Administration Activities

HRSA Announces ADAP Emergency Relief Funds NOFO

The Health Resources and Services Administration has announced that states and territories that demonstrate the need for additional resources to prevent, reduce, or eliminate ADAP waiting lists, including through cost-containment measures, now have the opportunity to apply for funding under the Ryan White Program Part B AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Emergency Relief Funds (ERF). Eligible applicants are limited to Ryan White Part B states and territories that reported a current ADAP waiting list or have used the ADAP ERF to prevent, reduce, or eliminate an ADAP waiting list between January 2011 and July 2019. Applications are being accepted until November 4, 2019.


NASTAD is pleased to release its updated version of PrEPcost.org, which assists PrEP navigators in comparing the best health insurance coverage options for their clients during the 2020 Open Enrollment. The 2020 version of PrEPcost.org will allow users to look-up formulary coverage for Truvada and Descovy, the two medications currently approved for PrEP. For more information, visit: PrEPcost.orgwatch a brief introduction, or email: PrEP@nastad.org.

Act Now:  End Aids (ANEA) will be hosting a webinar to assist applicants for its Community Leadership grants on October 28, 2019 at 3:00pm EDT. ANEA will also hold a webinar on Ending the Epidemic initiatives on October 30, 2019 at 2:00pm EDT.

NASTAD has submitted public comments on the proposed update of CDC’s 2006 Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health Care Settings. NASTAD suggested revisions and strong recommendations for HIV screening, test technologies and strategies, and greater collaboration with state and local public health.

Ending the Epidemic

IHS Awards More than $2 million to Tribal Epidemiology Centers for HIV, Hepatitis C, and STIs

The Indian Health Service awarded $2.4 million to nine Tribal Epidemiology Centers to support American Indian and Alaska Native communities in reducing new HIV infections and hepatitis C (HCV) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) as part of its implementation of the Ending the HIV Epidemic:  A Plan for America (EtHE) initiative. Centers in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington state, and Wisconsin will address the diagnose, treat, prevent, and response strategies of the ETE initiative, engage in regional and national coordination, provide technical assistance and disease surveillance support to communities, and support the development of community plans to end the HIV epidemic in tribal communities as well as the intersecting HCV and STI epidemics.

Act Now: End AIDS Offering Community Leadership Grants

The Act Now:  End Aids (ANEA) coalition has announced it is seeking proposals for a new small grants program with the goal of increasing local and state community leadership as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EtHE) initiative. Successful applicants may receive up to $50,000 to support activities that will lead toward sustainable local and state-level community leadership. ViiV Healthcare will provide the initial funds while ANEA and Treatment Action Group will be responsible for decisions on program design, peer review, and grant awards. The goal of the additional funding is to ensure the full participation of community leadership in the EtHE initiative, particularly those communities most affected by the epidemic. Community-based coalitions and organizations serving in the 57 identified EtHE jurisdictions are eligible to apply by December 6, 2019. Organizations from the southern United States will receive strong preference. NASTAD encourages jurisdictions to send the announcement to partners and organizations interested in applying.

CDC Releases EtHE Planning Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released additional program guidance for Component B of PS19-1906: Strategic Partnerships and Planning to Support Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States. The guidance was written in conjunction with the Health Resources and Services Administration with the goal of ensuring substantial and diverse community involvement in the development of local plans. The guidance also provides additional recommendations on the community engagement process, the development of an epidemiologic profile summary, a situational analysis summary, and planning activities and scenarios. NASTAD will provide technical assistance in the development and implementation of local plans through funding for PS19-1906.

Upcoming Meetings

NASTAD National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting

The NASTAD National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting “Leveraging Integrated Programs to End the Epidemics” will be held December 3-5, 2019 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Online registration will remain open until November 1.

NASTAD’s HIV Cluster Response Workshop

NASTAD’s HIV Cluster Response Workshop, part of the Southern Capacity Building Institute Series, will be held November 13-14, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.

Job Opportunities

NASTAD is pleased to announce the application cycle is open for the 2020 Minority Leadership Program (MLP).  MLP serves as a space rooted in social justice for health department staff of color to engage in critical conversations about job advancement, institutional barriers, managing emotions and burnout, racial and gender-based microaggressions, triggers, staff and project management, communication, and more. Applications for the Minority Leadership Program 2020 Cohort are due on Friday November 15, 2019. To apply, visit: https://www.nastad.org/minority-leadership-program-mlp.

Executive Director – Southern United States

The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) is seeking an Executive Director to manage a remote team while overseeing the development of a research agenda, participating in policy discussions, and engaging in advocacy efforts. The position will require travel throughout the region (and to SAC’s offices if they do not choose to live in Birmingham), the ability to handle media, and build relationships with funders and members of the community.

Chief, Center for HIV Prevention and Health Services – Maryland

The Maryland Department of Health is seeking a Chief for its Center for HIV Prevention and Health Services to oversee a staff of 30+ individuals, managing a budget of approximately $25 million, and maintaining alignment with all requirements of the federal grants under the Center's purview. The position also serves as a representative of the Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau on behalf of HIV issues and will maintain collaborative relationships with local health departments and other community partners.

Associate Director, Strategy and Implementation – Georgia

CDC is seeking an Associate Director for Strategy and Implementation for its Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) at the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. The position will oversee the Division’s Strategic Implementation Unit within the Office of the Director and be responsible for identifying and developing public health policies, partnerships, and initiatives improving access to viral hepatitis prevention and treatment services across all populations, especially those with disproportionate burden of disease or barriers accessing services.

HIV Transitional Specialist – Washington State

The Department of Corrections’ Health Services Division in Washington State is hiring an HIV Transitional Specialist. The position supports the department’s vision of maintaining safe communities by providing support for and developing comprehensive release plans for people living with HIV. The position will also provide technical assistance to correctional health care staff upon initial screening or admission and prior to the release of any patient living with HIV.