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Policy Update 4-20-2012
In This Issue...

AIDS United
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The Role of HIV Activism 30 Years Into the Epidemic
Make AIDSWatch Happen in Your Hometown!
Senate and House Split Over 2013 Fiscal Budget
Community Health Centers Show Need for Improvement, According to Study
Announcements
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The Role of HIV Activism 30 Years Into the Epidemic

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This week, GMHC, which was founded as Gay Men’s Health Crisis, held a dinner to mark its 30th anniversary. Next Wednesday, April 25, ACT UP/NY will commemorate its 25th anniversary with a march on Wall Street, the site of the first ACT UP demonstration in 1987.  Also next week, on Monday and Tuesday, HIV activists from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C. for congressional lobbying for AIDSWatch 2012.

As we celebrate the important milestones of organizations and movements that are based in HIV activism, we are reminded of the historic role that advocacy and activism have played in the fight against HIV. We also may ask ourselves what HIV activism looks like today, and if it even still exists.

In this edition of the Policy Update, we will mark the beginning of a mini-series of blogs that present generational perspectives on HIV activism. Today, we are proud to bring you blogs from Jeff Graham, Executive Director, Georgia Equality, and Sarah Audelo, Senior Domestic Policy Manager, Advocates for Youth. Check back next week for the next installment in this mini-series.

Jeff Graham: From a Leather Jacket to a Suit Jacket: Still An HIV Activist

Sarah Audelo: The Fight to Catch Up and Start Moving Towards an HIV-Free Generation

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Make AIDSWatch Happen in Your Hometown!

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Next week HIV advocates from around the country will come to D.C. for AIDSWatch 2012 to tell Congress to make health care, treatment, housing, prevention, and support service programs a priority. However, you don’t have to be in D.C. to make your voice heard about the lives and health of people living with and affected by HIV in the United States! Members of Congress will be in their home districts May 1-4, so you can organize these same kinds of conversations in your hometown through setting up district visits. Just follow these simple steps:

If you will be in D.C. next week, please be sure to say hello to AIDS United staff (Ronald Johnson, Donna Crews, and Caressa Cameron) that will be at the AIDSWatch training! We would love to connect with you to learn more about the work you are doing in your state and how we can help. We are also working with advocates across the country who are interested in connecting with AIDSWatch participants when they return home from D.C. Please email Charles and Caressa if you are interested in joining or leading district meetings when you return to your state.

 

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Senate and House Split Over 2013 Fiscal Budget

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This week, the Senate and the House continued to work on passing appropriations bills, though the congressional recess appears to have done little to bridge the sizeable difference in spending levels that still exist between the two chambers. There seems to be broad agreement for the spending bills within the House and within the Senate.  However, the the two houses remain far apart on the total spending level for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY '13).  The Senate is using the level called for in the Budget Control Act (BCA), $1.047 trillion.  The House sees that amount as a ceiling and is using a total of $1.028 trillion, $19 billion below the Senate’s level.  The President agrees with the Senate’s interpretation of the BCA regarding total FY ’13 spending..

On Monday, the Buffett Rule (which would ensure that individuals with incomes exceeding $1 million in any year pay at least 30% of their income in federal taxes) was defeated in the Senate 51-45 in a procedural vote. The legislation needed 60 votes to move to an up-or-down vote. Though the defeat was widely expected, Democrats were eager to put Republicans on the record as opposing the Rule which has gained in public popularity over the past several weeks.

On Tuesday, Robert Greenstein, President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, testified in front of the House Budget Committee about the importance of strengthening the safety net that provides services and resources to many of the disadvantaged populations in the United States.

Read his testimony, here.

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Community Health Centers Show Need for Improvement, According to Study

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A report from Kaiser Health News-USA TODAY shows that hundreds of the nearly 1,200 community health centers are failing to reach key measures such as vaccinating young children and helping diabetics control their blood sugar. Data from the report also showed that:

  • Centers in the South generally performed worse than those in New England, the Midwest and California
  • Nearly 75% of the centers performed significantly worse — at least 10% below the national average — in screening women for cervical cancer. The national average reflects the care of all Americans.
  • About 73% performed significantly below average in helping diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels.
  • Roughly 28% performed significantly below average for immunizing two-year-olds.

Community health centers served over 20 million mostly poor individuals last year. That number is double the amount of people that sought care from the centers a decade ago.

Community health centers are poised to play a pivotal role in President Obama’s health care reform by helping to accommodate the 30 million people, including many living with HIV/AIDS, who would have access to health insurance beginning in 2014. If the Affordable Care Act is upheld by the Supreme Court, it will provide $11 billion to bolster and expand health centers.

The Kaiser Health News-USA TODAY analysis was based on 2010 data reflective of centers’ clinical performances. Click here to see the data.

To read more about community health centers and how they will be affected by the Affordable Care Act, click here.

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Announcements

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Health Care Conference Calls
The final session of a series of conference calls on the health care reform law will be hosted by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Partnership Center. The following session is available to the public; to sign up for the session use the link below.

Participants can submit questions to be answered during the call by emailing ACA101@hhs.gov.

Webinar: Health Care Reform for People with HIV: Make it Work for your State
HealthCareReform.org will be hosting the webinar “Health Care Reform for People with HIV: Make it Work for your State” on Thursday, April 26th at 2:30 PM ET. The webinar will discuss the decisions states will have to make regarding health care reform and how HIV advocates can make an impact.

To learn more click here. To register for the webinar, click here.

Phill Wilson to Present AIDS 2012 Plenary Address: “The US Epidemic”; Calls for Input from Community
The International AIDS Society announced that Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, will be giving the plenary address at AIDS 2012 on the US HIV Epidemic. The Black AIDS Institute, the National Minority AIDS Council, and the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance will be hosting a national conference call on April 30th, 2 PM ET to give you the opportunity to provide insight and input to Phill Wilson for the plenary address. More calls will be scheduled in the upcoming weeks and there is also an opportunity to submit ideas in writing.

To register for the call, click here.

To submit written concerns, click here.

Wanted: Nominations for Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) Board of Directors
The Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) is now accepting nominations for candidates for open seats on the Board of Directors. Candidates should be experienced in: HIV-prevention or related public health field, organizational management and development, fundraising, governance, and policy. For more information on the Board of Directors responsibilities, selection criteria, and for the nomination form, click here.

Three seats are open for a three year term from June 11th 2012 to the 2015 annual meeting and four seats are open for a two year term from June 11th 2012 to the 2014 annual meeting. Terms will be selected on a lottery system.

Deadline to submit Nomination Forms, Personal Statements, and Resumes is Monday, April 30th, 2012. Nominations should be submitted via e-mail to dea@uchaps.org.

If you have any questions contact Dea Varsovczky at dea@uchaps.org or 718-791-2206.

Funding Announcement: 2012 Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care
AIDS United invites non-profit organizations, both within and outside of the United States (US), to apply for the Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care. Thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there are far too many people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who are unable to access or stay retained in medical care that can improve or extend their lives. According to a recent article in Clinical Infectious Diseases, only 19% of those living with HIV/AIDS in the US are engaged and retained in medical care in a way that leads to an undetectable viral load. Globally, the World Health Organization reports that only 6.65 million people (out of 34 million) are receiving antiretroviral therapies, representing just 19% of the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. If we are to reach an end to AIDS we must do better to ensure that people are fully engaged and retained in HIV care. We believe that there are innovative strategies being used every day in communities around the world to improve access to care – strategies that have not been replicated or brought to scale. As a funder and policy leader, we know that innovation is needed to promote new solutions for persistent problems and barriers to care. This award will provide an opportunity for organizations around the world to demonstrate innovative strategies and share them with their global peers.

The winner will receive $25,000 and full support for one organizational representative to attend the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, USA.

Click here for more information about the application process for the 2012 Innovation and Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care.

Deadline: 11:59pm US EST on May 1, 2012

XIX International AIDS Conference - Deadline for Registration and Late BreakersAbstract Submissions
The XIX International AIDS Conference, to be held July 22-27 in Washington DC, will host an expected 200 countries, 2,000 journalists, and 25,000 participants to address this year's theme of "Turning the Tide Together." The conference is now open for late breakers registration and late abstract submissions. The categories for abstract submissions are: Basic Science; Clinical Science; Epidemiology and Prevention Science; Social Science, Human Rights and Political Science; and Implementation Science, Health Systems and Economics.

Important Dates:

  • Registration late fee closes May 3rd, 2012,
  • Abstract Submissions late breakers close May 22nd, 2012.

Learn more about the abstract submission categories.

Find out more information about registration.

Find other important deadlines.

Call for MSM and Transgender Abstracts Not Accepted at AIDS 2012
The International AIDS Society has sent out notifications on acceptance and rejection of abstract submissions and scholarship applications. Many of the abstracts submitted on MSM and Transgender issues were rejected from the conference, but it is important that research from these projects still be presented. The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) plans on releasing a new publication before AIDS 2012 featuring high-quality MSM and Transgender abstracts that will not be presented at AIDS 2012. MSMGF will be accepting submissions from those who submitted abstracts to AIDS 2012 and were not accepted to present and from those who were accepted but were not granted a scholarship and will not be able to attend.

All abstracts will be reviewed by an independent board based on the AIDS 2012 Abstract Submission Guidelines.

Abstracts must be submitted by May 4, 2012 in the exact form submitted to AIDS 2012 through the online survey form here.

Questions can be sent to the MSMGF Policy Associate Mohan Sundararaj at msundararaj@msmgf.org.

Webinar - Save The Date!  AIDS United will host an Alliance For Justice Webinar for our community partners, grantees, and advocates. This session covers the federal rules regarding electoral activities for 501(c)(3)s, including voter registration drives, candidate questionnaires, candidate forums and legislative scorecards.

Topic:  Election Rules for Non-Profits
Date:  May 14th
Time: 2:00
RSVP: policy@aidsunited.org
Webinar information will be forthcoming.

Ryan White 2012 Grantee Meeting and 15th Annual Clinical Conference
This year’s Ryan White Program Meeting and 15th Annual Clinical Conference will take place November 27-29 in Washington, DC at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The conference, whose theme is “Navigating a New Era in CARE, ” will examine changes in the health care system and explore how changes impact those living with HIV. Over 2,500 participants are expected to attend, including direct care providers, members of planning councils, board members, federal staff, and more.

Important Deadlines for the conference:

  • Abstract Submissions – May 21, 2012
  • Grantee Meeting Registration – September 24, 2012, 12:00 AM ET
  • Clinical Conference Registration – September 24, 2012
  • Washington Marriott Wardman Park Discounted Room Rate – October 24, 2012

For more information on the conference, abstracts, registration, and hotels, click here.

July 24th HIV Mobilization Planned at International AIDS Conference
Large scale actions have traditionally taken place at each International AIDS Conference to draw public and media attention to HIV prevention, treatment and research. As the time for the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. approaches, some local and national HIV groups are continuing this tradition by calling for a community mobilization around human rights and economic justice on July 24th.

More information about the mobilization can be found here.

AIDS United Hiring Regional Field Organizer
AIDS United seeks a Regional Field Organizer to work with its grantees, partners, and allies to implement a coordinated national organizing strategy. The Regional Field Organizer will help mobilize grassroots state and federal HIV/AIDS-related advocacy to achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Regional Field Organizer will be located in Texas.

Learn more about the Regional Field Organizer position.

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