National Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Shares Communication Tools for Gay


2018 United States Conference on AIDS



June 12th has been designated as Orlando United Day.  On this day, we remember the 49 angels who were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This was a deliberate attack on the LGBT community that must never be forgotten.

To show our support for Orlando and the LGBT community, NMAC is pleased to announce that we will hold the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS in Orlando on September 6-9, 2018.  Please save the date.

The 2018 meeting will highlight the contributions made by the LGBT community to our efforts in ending the epidemic.  Our community has suffered so many losses and we must stand together.

The 49 beautiful portraits in this e-newsletter were created by 49 different artists across the country.  Each portrait portrays someone who was killed in the Pulse shootings.  They are all on exhibit at the Terrace Gallery at Orlando City Hall from May 1 – June 14, 2017.

Yours in the struggle,

Board & Staff of NMAC
Stronger Together!

AIDS United Responds to Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bil


AIDS United acknowledges that the Fiscal Year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, released last night, provides continuity of HIV funding for most domestic programs. This is an important development for maintaining our progress towards the national goals and priorities of reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related health disparities.

While most HIV programs will see level funding in the budget, AIDS United is concerned that a $4 million cut to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C clinical providers and a $5 million cut affecting the budget to fight sexually transmitted infections will diminish our response to HIV and health care, particularly given the increasing cases of sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis, among men who have sex with men.

“Knowing that Congress plans to keep funding intact for most HIV efforts is reassuring, but we urge Congress to also ensure that Part C clinical providers and our response to sexually transmitted infections are fully funded,” said AIDS United President & CEO Jesse Milan, Jr.

AIDS United is particularly appreciative that Congress listened to the voices of people living with and affected by HIV in increasing funding for the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) program by $21 million. “Housing is fundamental to ensuring that people living with HIV live longer and healthier lives and we thank Congress for recognizing the importance of this program by securing its current stability,” said Milan.

About AIDS United: AIDS United’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., through strategic grant-making, capacity building, formative research and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV/AIDS care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV/AIDS-related policy for U.S. populations and communities most impacted by the epidemic. To date, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities, and have leveraged more than $117 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy.

Repeal Without Replace: Senate Starts Undoing Obamacare With No Replacement

In the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, the Senate took the important first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, narrowly approving a budget resolution that lays the groundwork for the undoing of much of President Obama’s signature health care law. The 51-48 vote fell almost entirely along party lines, with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) being the only Republican to vote against the resolution and no Democrats voting for it. Having passed in the Senate, the budget resolution has been transferred over to the House where it could be voted on as early as this Friday or later, depending on how successful Speaker Ryan is at bringing together an often-fractured House GOP.

If the House passes the Senate resolution, reconciliation instructions will be sent out to the Senate Finance Committee; the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; and to the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. These instructions are designed to get the committees to report legislation that would reduce the federal deficit by at least $1 billion over the next decade. In practice the legislation will be used to repeal certain aspects of the ACA with only a 51-vote majority in the Senate and without having to face the risk of being filibustered by Democrats. This means that the GOP will be able to repeal major provisions of the ACA that affect the federal budget and will have to introduce other legislation to repeal the other provisions, including those that reform health insurance practices.
For people living with or at risk of contracting HIV, the changes that could be made through this reconciliation process will be immense and potentially deadly. Through reconciliation, Congress will be able to repeal the individual mandate to buy coverage, take away the ACA’s insurance premium subsidies and, perhaps worst of all, roll back Medicaid expansion. Medicaid is the single largest source of insurance coverage for people living with HIV, covering more than 40% of all people with HIV who are in care. Add to that the fact that Medicaid expansion by itself was responsible for putting an addition 14 million Americans on health insurance, and it is not hard to understand just how much of an impact this reconciliation process could have on the HIV community.

The Senate vote on the budget resolution was the climax of nearly 7 hours of rapid-fire voting known as “vote-a-rama”, a tradition whereby Senators—in this case, mostly Democrats—are allowed to propose roll call votes on amendments to a budget resolution in quick succession with the aim of getting their colleagues on the record with votes concerning politically volatile issues. On Wednesday night, Democrats put forth a number of amendments regarding some of the popular aspects of Obamacare as both an act of defiance and a way to put pro-repeal Senators on-the-record for the elimination of well received ACA provisions.

For their part, Republicans in the Senate chose in most instances to vote as a unified block even when such a vote went against the wishes of their constituencies. Over the course of the evening, the Senate rejected 19 different amendments along party lines, many of which would have served to protect access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Of particular interest to people living with or at risk for contracting HIV were amendments put forth by Senate Democrats aimed at preventing health insurers from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26, prohibiting insurers from denying health insurance or raising rates on women because of their gender, and not making any cuts to Medicaid funding. None of these amendments were accepted, but they did provide good indication of what aspects of the ACA would be vulnerable under a full ACA repeal.

Perhaps the most important vote of the night—aside from the final approval of the budget resolution—was one that didn’t happen at all. An amendment put forth by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and four other GOP Senators that would have extended the January 27th deadline to come up with repeal legislation by an additional 5 weeks was withdrawn late on Wednesday night. The amendment was initially brought up by Senator Corker and some of his Republican colleagues in light of legitimate fears that their party would not have a replacement plan in place when they repealed the ACA. And, while nothing happened over the course of the evening that would have given Senator Corker and his amendment’s supporters reason to believe a replacement plan was any nearer than before, they would all go on to vote in favor of the budget resolution at the end of the night, continuing down a path of repeal without replacement.

Most of America had long since gone to sleep and likely won’t remember when or exactly how it happened, but history with certainly note that, if the Affordable Care Act is indeed dismantled, that Congress began to do so when no one was watching.

Upcoming Support Group Meeting at Site #2

Cordially invites you to an
Evening Dinner
Amongst Friends

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017


Topic:  Work it out!


Presented by – Alison Ruby


Sponsor by – Merrick Pharmaceutical


5:00pm – 5:30pm Dinner

5:30pm – 6:30pm Presentation

6:30pm – 7:00pm – Rap Up!     




AIDS United

Thirty-five years ago, the world changed forever when the CDC noted five cases of pneumocystis pneumonia in otherwise healthy men. Today, 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, more than 44,000 people newly contract HIV every year, and more than 670,000 people have died due to HIV-related complications.

It’s easy to get lost in the statistics and forget about the details. The human details. The lives of sons, daughters, parents, or friends cut short or changed forever. This is tough stuff. And we refuse to accept it. 

That’s why, for nearly 30 years AIDS United has identified, funded, and advocated for community-driven responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. By focusing on key leverage points like expanding access to care, our mission of ending the AIDS epidemic is more achievable now than ever.

At AIDS United, we don’t just issue grants, provide training, or advocate with and on behalf of people living with HIV. We fight for hope.

An AIDS-Free Generation is possible. We can’t get there without you.

Together, we will continue to search for new ways to bring HIV care to the people who need it most, push back against HIV stigma, and fight for the funding and policies we need.

From every dollar donated, 93 cents will go directly into programs at the forefront of ending the AIDS epidemic in the U.S!

As STD Rates Soar, Prevention Spending Cuts Continue to Loom Large


Infectious diseases don’t take breaks. Humanity has plenty of advantages over communicable diseases, but by and large, policy makers and the public have a disconcerting tendency to only pay attention to public health in times of crisis. In the midst of an outbreak, we are prone to take swift and demonstrative action to address whatever problems face us. However, as soon as that outbreak subsides, our reaction is too often to take our foot off the gas and refocus our energy on issues that suddenly seem more pressing.

For over a decade, funding to combat sexually transmitted diseases (STD) has been given the short shrift by Congress and state legislatures that is all too common with regards to health issues. Since 2003, Congress has not provided a single funding increase for STD programs, while, simultaneously, more than half of all state and local STD programs have undergone large budget cuts.

The result of this institutionalized neglect of STD prevention and treatment has been a startling, but not altogether surprising, resurgence in STD rates, with the recent release of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) report showing the highest number of combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis ever recorded in the United States. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of cases of primary and secondary syphilis, congenital syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia rose by 19 percent, 6 percent, 13 percent, and 6 percent respectively, but those numbers only tell part of the story.

This sharp spike in STD rates over the past year is just the most recent and most pronounced manifestation of a disturbing epidemiological trend that shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Between 2003–the last year that Congress provided a funding increase for STD programs–and 2015, the recorded number of cases of primary and secondary syphilis increased by a staggering 333 percent. During the same period, the number of reported cases of chlamydia rose by 174 percent. The number of reported cases of gonorrhea have gone up by a comparatively low 18 percent, but this modest increase is countered by the severity of antibiotic resistant strains that are becoming increasingly prevalent.

It is not a coincidence that this surge in STD cases has come at a time when the budgets of state and local STD programs are being slashed. Much like our aging roads and bridges, America’s public health infrastructure is woefully underfunded and is being pushed to its breaking point. As Bill Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, put it at a congressional briefing on STD prevention back in April, “Our mantra has been to ‘do more with less,’ but now we’re doing less with less. The public’s health is in danger.”

At that same congressional briefing, Dr. Gail Bolan, the CDC’s director of STD Prevention, gave a dour diagnosis for the trajectory of STD infection in the United States if state and local STD programs continue to be underfunded or abandoned. “For those of you who are not clinicians, in most people’s assessment, congenital syphilis is a sentinel event.” Bolan said. “It is a failure of the health care system and it is a failure of the public health system. And in a society that invests as much as we do in our health care and in our public health we should not be seeing this number of congenital syphilis cases in the United States.”

One would think that Congress would immediately react to such a dire warning and would circle the wagons and work to nip this burgeoning STD crisis in the bud. Unfortunately, with the lame duck session quickly approaching, Congress may decide to double down on its neglect of the nation’s sexual health. In the Senate’s current Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill for FY2017, there is a proposed $5 million cut to the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, while the House version merely continues the flat funding that has led to a 40% reduction in the Division of STD Prevention’s buying power since 2003.

Out of sight, out of mind, is not an acceptable approach for Congress or state and local governments to take regarding any public health issue, much less one with the destructive personal and financial implications of sexually transmitted disease. For the millions of Americans who contract STDs each year, and particularly for populations like men who have sex with men who bear a disproportionate brunt of this burden, what do these proposed cuts in funding say about the government’s opinion of them and their wellbeing? It is hard to interpret a call to slash STD program funding in the wake of this recently released CDC data as anything other than a disregard by elected officials for the health of their constituents and it cannot be allowed to stand. As Congress completes its funding of federal programs for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, AIDS United will join other advocates in demanding increased funding for STD prevention. The latest surveillance data call for no less from us.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department – Friday, October 28, 2016