2020 National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting

October 7th, 2020 to October 9th, 2020

NASTAD's 2020 National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for U.S. health department HIV and hepatitis staff, as well as time for networking with one another and with invited colleagues from the federal government, industry, and partner organizations.

The following presentations are from the meeting and are available to view and download.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Plenary Session - Operationalizing Health Equity to Ensure Black Lives are Central to Ending the Epidemics

  • Ayiasha Pratt, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Camden Hallmark, Houston Health Department (slides)
  • Darnell Barrington, Southern AIDS Coalition
  • Emily McCloskey, NASTAD
  • Margaret Bordeaux, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Marlene McNeese, NASTAD/Houston Health Department
  • Stephen Lee, NASTAD

Breakout Session - Addressing Social Determinants of Health to End the HIV Epidemic
Diagnose. Treat. Prevent. Respond. The four pillars of the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative serve as a guiding framework for collaboration between governmental public health and community to disruptively innovate HIV prevention and care programs at the jurisdiction level.  This session explored how health departments can leverage partnerships and engagement strategies to address root causes of the HIV and viral hepatitis epidemics such as poverty, criminalization, housing instability, transportation, and most recently COVID-19 to mitigate overarching barriers to social justice that impact progress toward ending the epidemics.

  • Angela Johnson, NASTAD (slides)
  • Dan-Tam Phan-Hoang, Minnesota Department of Health (slides)
  • Kyra Sanders, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (slides)
  • Louise Square, New York State Department of Health

Breakout Session - Mass Incarceration as a Social Determinant of Hepatitis C Outcomes
Despite making up about 13% of the US population, Blacks/African-Americans are disproportionately represented in our nation’s sentenced prison population, accounting for 33% of individuals in prison. Additionally, Blacks/African-Americans are overrepresented among people living with hepatitis C and account for 18.9% of hepatitis C-related deaths. This session explored the intersection of mass incarceration, structural racism, health inequities, and how limiting access to hepatitis C curative therapies in prisons and jails disparately impacts people of color, particularly Black people.

  • Arlis Jenkins. Arizona Department of Health Services
  • Boatemaa Ntiri-Reid, NASTAD
  • Carissa McGee, UNM Project ECHO
  • Phil Waters, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School (slides)

Breakout Session - Navigating Systems of Care for People Who Use Drugs
People who use drugs and people who do sex work face significant and complex barriers when seeking medical and social services, including for HIV and hepatitis. This session discussed experiences and challenges of care-seeking and the use of a drug user health framework to develop comprehensive and low-barrier systems of care. It spotlighted two ongoing national projects seeking to facilitate healthcare access for people who use drugs in partnership with syringe services programs and state health departments.

  • Alice Asher, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (slides)
  • Ariel Johnson, Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition (slides)
  • Isabel Evans, Arizona Department of Health Services (slides)
  • Kirsten Forseth, NASTAD
  • Thomas Cospito, WNCAP (slides)

Breakout Session - Black Drug User Lives Matter: Harm Reduction and Racial Justice
American harm reduction developed in the 1980s and ‘90s through peer networks of drug users distributing safer use information and resources. In many areas, the advocates supporting these community responses were predominately Black and Latinx, for whom harm reduction was deeply tied to social and economic justice. This session explored harm reduction, racial justice, the War on Drugs, and the criminal-legal system, and discussed ways that harm reduction programs have responded to and engaged with recent public demonstrations.

  • Bianca Shell, Sonoran Prevention Works Arizona (slides)
  • Donald Davis, Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Elika Upadhyay, NASTAD
  • Jack Martin, Southside Harm Reduction
  • Joy Rucker, Texas Harm Reduction Alliance (slides)
  • Lillie Armstrong, NASTAD

Breakout Session - Black GBM Lives Matter
The health disparities among Black communitites, especially Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) are well documented. This session worked to shorten the proverbial gap between provider and Black GBM. Participants evaluated barriers and biases at play, explored the ways providers prepetuate stigmatizing and traumatic experiences, and discovered radical ways to address identified biases to improve health outcomes of Black GBM communities.

  • Charles Pettiford, Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Robert Johnson, Rutgers University - New Jersey Medical School
  • Torrian Baskerville, NASTAD (slides)

Breakout Session - Case Study Interactive Discussion: Cluster Detection and Response from a Health Equity Lens
Cluster detection and response (CDR) is a major component of the plan to end the epidemic, and conducting CDR activities from a health equity lens, is critical to achieving the goals of the “response” pillar. In this session participants reviewed a hypothetical new cluster case study, discussed culturally responsive activities, how to engage and/or communicate with impacted community stakeholders, and ways to respond from a health equity perspective. (slides

  • Erin Bascom, NASTAD 
  • Nicole Elinoff, NASTAD

Breakout Session - Centering Equity in Research and Evaluation Practices
The Center for Innovation and Engagement (CIE) is a HRSA-funded SPNS initiative led by NASTAD’s Health Equity Team. CIE’s goal is to identify, catalog, and disseminate evidence-informed interventions that reengage and retain people with HIV in care. This forum served as a space to unpack exclusionary practices resulting from evidence-based models and how research procedures are often rooted in cultural racism and academic imperialism. Panelists shared anti-racist research and evaluation methods in public health as alternative approaches to better understanding and responding to marginalized communities.

  • Alexander Perez, NASTAD (slides)
  • Jenita Parekh, Child Trends (slides)
  • Kirsten Durzy, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (slides)
  • Milanes Morejon, NASTAD
  • Ndidi Amutah-Onukagha, Tufts University
  • Rosy Galvan, NASTAD (slides)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Plenary Session - Prioritizing the Lives of Black Trans Women followed by Panel Discussion: Utilizing Privilege to Show Up for Black Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-Conforming People

  • Alison Gaye, Lousiana Department of Health
  • Asia Lyons, Destination Tomorrow
  • Demetre Daskalakis, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Jean-Michel Brevelle, Maryland Department of Health (slides)
  • Milan Nicole Sherry, House of Tulip
  • Rosy Galvan, NASTAD
  • Tamika Spellman, HIPS 

Breakout Session - Data Collection, Surveillance, and Reporting for HIV and Viral Hepatitis
This session will highlight strategies to make health department and federal data collection, surveillance, and reporting disaggregated not only by race and ethnicity, but more reflective of transgender and gender non-conforming communities. Discussion will focus on general issues around surveillance and how surveillance practices and terminology intersect with distrust and harm experienced by Black communities.

  • Ann Dills, Texas DSHS HIV/STD Programs (slides)
  • Carolyn McAllaster, Duke Law’s Health Justice Clinic
  • Chelsea Shover, Stanford University (slides)
  • Dorcas Adedoja, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project
  • Erin Wilson, San Francisco Department of Public Health (slides
  • Marissa Miller, National Trans Visibility March
  • Rita Isabel Lechuga, NASTAD
  • Susan Reif, Duke University Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (slides)

Breakout Session - What Does an Anti-Racist Health Department "Look" Like?
As health departments reckon with the Black Lives Matter Movement, immigration issues, and xenophobia, while simultaneously working to end the epidemics, this podcast-style session examined what an anti-racist health department HIV or hepatitis program “looks” like. Two health departments who underwent anti-racism training and/or implemented related programming shared policies, practices, and approaches that worked for them. This facilitated discussion focused on systems-level changes happening at health departments.

  • Lydia Guy-Ortiz, Washington State Department of Health (slides)
  • Mahelet Kebede, NASTAD
  • Thaddeus Pham, Hawaii Department of Health

Breakout Session - Drug User Health and Policing: Understanding Multi-Level Harms
This session examined the intersections of policing and the criminal-legal system with drug user health at multiple levels: experiences of people who use drugs and people who do sex work; organizational partnerships with law enforcement and corrections agencies; and national perspectives on criminalization, legal protections, and the future of criminal justice.

  • Dori Molozanov, NASTAD
  • Jada Hicks, The Center for HIV Law and Policy (slides)
  • Laura Pegram, NASTAD
  • Rafi Torruella, Intercambios Puerto Rico
  • Tracie Gardner, Legal Action Center

Breakout Session - Highlighting Black Transgender Male Health
This session provided an opportunity to explore strategies and approaches for increasing STD screening and treatment, hepatitis vaccination, PrEP access, and marketing approaches to ensure Trans Masculine Communities are represented in and outside of a health context. (slides)

  • Kendrell Taylor, NASTAD
  • Omega Kelley, Tranz of Anarchii, Inc
  • Shateer Douglas, The Pride Center of WNY
  • Socorro "Cori" Moreland, #brotherhood

Breakout Session - Shifting the Narrative on Community Resilience
This mixed mode breakout session consisted of both a webinar and a live table talk discussion centering Black trans women and their experiences. Conversations centered community resilience, advocacy, joy, and experiences while organizing, all with the goal of working to shift the narrative to highlight community strengths and resilience. Participants learned more about strength-based frameworks, its importance, and what shifting the narrative to community strengths could look like in public health practice. 

  • Aryah Lester, Transgender Strategy Center
  • Kayla Gore, Transgender Law Center
  • Kiara St. James, New York Transgender Advocacy Group
  • Nicole Elinoff, NASTAD (slides)

Breakout Session - The Intersection of Disability, Trans Justice, and Black Liberation
Black liberation is not possible without centering multiple intersecting identities specifically around disability, gender, and race. Health departments play a role in challenging traditionally siloed approaches through developing and implementing strategies incorporating frameworks that address compounding forms of oppression. This session will discuss foundational frameworks that can be used to better understand the health and social needs of people with disabilities, centering on Black and transgender populations. The session will also present ways to advance health equity for these communities in HIV and hepatitis work. (slides)

  • Bianca I Laureano, Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN)
  • Jaden Fields, Mirror Memoirs
  • Milanes Morejon, NASTAD

Friday, October 9, 2020

Breakout Session - Centering Black Lives Matter in Immigrant Justice - Recording Posted in the Session Description
Policy shifts including the Public Charge rule, the recently finalized Section 1557 rule, and the proposed changes to asylum-seeking process are violations of human rights and are detrimental to public health initiatives including Ending the HIV Epidemic and the elimination of hepatitis. Access to equitable healthcare for immigrants and refugees was further exacerbated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which asks the question—where is there space for centering Black immigrant and refugee lives? Podcast style session. View the recording here

  • Dorcas Adedoja, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project
  • Rita Isabel Lechuga, NASTAD

Breakout Session - Conditioned Distrust: Dissecting the Effects of Institutional Harm Within Black Communitites
Black men and women are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases and other illnesses for many reasons, to include the distrust of medical providers. It is essential to understand the institutional behaviors that have led to this medical skepticism. To gain a deeper understanding of the effects of medical distrust, this session analyzed the history of medical distrust, the interventions created to create trust and discussed/provided participants with steps to move forward in addressing medical distrust within Black communities. This session included a mix of presentations and facilitated peer-to-peer discussion and activities.

  • Cedric Sturdevant, Mississippi Positive Network (MSPN)
  • Donovan Cousan, NASTAD (slides)
  • LaNita Wright, Kennesaw State University
  • Pamgrace Gachenge, DiscoverU

Breakout Session - Coverage Policy Updates: Preparing for Open Enrollment
This session provided an overview of coverage policy updates ahead of the open enrollment period for the 2021 plan year and discussion of best practices for RWHAP Part B/ADAPs. Topics included: addressing increasing insurance churn; ensuring cost-effective plan purchase; and preparing the enrollment workforce for remote enrollment.

  • Amy Killelea, NASTAD
  • Dori Molozanov, NASTAD
  • Cindy Boerger, Oklahoma Department of Health
  • Jeffrey Maras, Illinois Department of Health (slides)
  • Martha Grimm, Washington Department of Health
  • Mira Levinson, JSI
  • Molly Tasso, JSI
  • Thomas Blissett, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services 

Breakout Session - Innovative Approaches to Engage People Living with HIV in Care Services
As Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs navigate an evolving healthcare system and respond to various epidemics, it is important to identify new strategies to engage people living with HIV (PLWH) in care services. Two HIV clinics in the South implementing innovative strategies, including maximizing telehealth services, nontraditional clinic engagement, and utilizing multidisciplinary teams to address barriers experienced by Black PLWH, shared their approaches, policies, successes, and lessons learned when utilizing these strategies.  This discussion offered participants new ways of providing unbiased and equitable care to PLWH, as well as identify new ways to administer care services.

  • Chloe' Bernard, NASTAD
  • Leandro Mena, University of Mississippi Medical Center (slides
  • Michael Ray Murphree, Medical Advocacy and Outreach

Breakout Session - Syringe Services Programs Respond to COVID-19
SSPs have faced no shortage of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, however, harm reduction programs are well-prepared to adjust service models, engage different outreach and networking strategies, maintain contact with populations made vulnerable to disease and homelessness, and to co-locate services to ensure low-barrier access. This session discussed organizational and programmatic observations and responses during the 2020 pandemic, including state opportunities to support SSPs.

  • Amy Patel, North Carolina Division of Public Health (slides)
  • Elika Upadhyay, NASTAD
  • Jenna Mellor, New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Lawson Koeppel, Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Lillie Armstrong, NASTAD

Breakout Session - Addressing Health Inequities to Achieve Hepatitis Elimination
This session highlighted the critical need to center health equity across all partnerships to reach viral hepatitis elimination. To achieve elimination, we need to elevate the voices of hepatitis elimination advocates and people with lived experience. This panel discussion included perspectives from a health department, healthcare provider, and coalition members focusing on the need to incorporate people with lived experience and having their voices be center in leading the work.

  • Alex Eanes, NASTAD
  • Amy Rodriguez, GLIDE
  • Rita Isabel Lechuga, NASTAD
  • Nadine Kela-Murphy, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (slides)
  • Paij Nakamura, Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center
  • Perry Rhodes III, University California San Francisco (UCSF)-Alliance Health Project
  • Risha Irvin, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (slides)
  • Vittoria Criss, Texas Department of State Health Services