HIVMA Leaders Discuss HIV Initiative with HHS Secretary
Members of the HIVMA Board of Directors met with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, II, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, MD, and Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Policy Tammy Beckham during their recent board meeting to discuss the administration’s End the HIV Epidemic initiative.
HHS shared the rapid timeline for implementation including planning grants for the target jurisdictions that will be awarded in September 2019. HHS anticipates that grants to support the initiative in the target jurisdictions will be awarded in time for work to begin in January 2020 but noted the timing will depend on Congress passing the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education funding bill with funding for the initiative by Oct. 1.
The House of Representatives passed the LHHS funding bill last month and fully funded the initiative but work on the funding bills in the Senate has not begun. HHS noted the importance of the implementation plans being locally driven. HIVMA leaders recognized HHS staff for its leadership on the initiative and the important opportunity it provides but raised concerns regarding the administration’s proposals to weaken non-discriminatory protections for LGBTQ individuals and urged the administration to ensure frontline HIV providers are engaged in the local planning and processes.
HIVMA developed this issue brief as part of its Advocacy Guide to support member advocacy on the End the HIV Epidemic initiative and will be compiling additional resources for members. Email George Fistonich with questions.