“As a first-year participant of AIDSWatch, I walk away from this event feeling more inspired than ever. The sense of camaraderie among the HIV/AIDS community was enlightening, and being a part of the resilient Illinois team was an honor.”
Lucy, AIDSWatch 2013 Participant, Chicago, Illinois
AIDS United advocates for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and the organizations that serve them. AIDS United houses the most seasoned, connected, and respected domestic AIDS policy team in Washington, DC, which has been instrumental in the development and implementation of major public health policies that improve the quality of life for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The time to end the epidemic is now. AIDS United is in a unique position to capitalize on scientific and planning advances that have the potential to end the HIV epidemic. We must fight policies that jeopardize our ability to take advantage of this unique opportunity to reverse the HIV epidemic.
AIDS United continued to lead efforts to ensure that the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is well integrated into the evolving health care landscape resulting from Medicaid expansion and the health insurance marketplaces that were created by the Affordable Care Act.
In 2013 AIDS United advocated against laws that target people living with HIV, including criminal prosecutions of people living with HIV. Such laws and prosecutions, primarily based on outdated and unscientific understandings of HIV transmission, have resulted in unjust sentences and often criminalize conduct that poses little or no significant risk of HIV transmission, thereby creating a strong barrier to HIV testing and reinforcing HIV stigma.
Thanks to the leadership of AIDS United, the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act has continued to gain traction, being brought up by the U.S. Senate for the first time in 2013 with bipartisan support. In conjunction with the bill, the Senate approved a department-wide review of HIV policies within the Defense Department.
AIDS United also led efforts to end the ban on the use of federal funds for syringe exchange. Eight federally funded comprehensive scientific reviews have established that syringe services programs, when implemented as part of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, are an effective HIV prevention intervention and do not promote drug use.
Our advocacy work within the federal budget and appropriations process helped maintain funding for domestic HIV programs in light of sequestration—a success in a challenging and contentious funding environment. Our Public Policy Committee’s commitment to an equitable distribution of federal funds led to AIDS United being the only national HIV organization to reach agreement on a policy position calling for reinstating a hold harmless provision for the distribution of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds to the largest metropolitan jurisdictions affected by HIV.
During February 25-26, 2013 there were more than 200 advocates that converged on Washington, D.C. for the country’s largest constituent-based HIV/AIDS advocacy event. Participants were engaged in an all-day intensive training where they learned about policy issues facing people living with and affected by HIV in the United States, and how to share their personal stories with their lawmakers. The next day they took their newly acquired skills to Capitol Hill where, collectively, they participated in more than 170 meetings with their Members of Congress. AIDSWatch 2013 was organized as a partnership with Treatment Access Expansion Project.
Public Policy Committee (PPC)
The AIDS United Public Policy Committee (PPC) brings together organizations from across the United States to advocate for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and the organizations that serve them. AIDS United’s public policy work and priorities are informed by our PPC member organizations, which include some of the largest AIDS-service organizations, community-based organizations, and community-health centers in the U.S., as well as smaller community-based organizations from all regions of the country.
During 2013, the PPC gained 14 new members from 10 states, and expanded their presence in the southern region. At the end of 2013, the committee consisted of a national network of policy leaders from a total of 29 organizations, and we are excited to continue welcoming new organizations as membership continues to grow.
“Our participation in the PPC has been invaluable in helping us stay informed on policy and best practices. I never fail to learn from interactions we have with PPC colleagues nationwide who are grappling in their own communities with many of the same issues facing our agency.”
Executive Director, Nashville CARES
Leadership Council ($25,000 and above)
- AIDS Action Committee
- AIDS Foundation of Chicago
- AIDS Project Los Angeles
- AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
- Amida Care
- Justice Resource Institute
- Legacy Community Health Services
- Lifelong AIDS Alliance
- San Francisco AIDS Foundation
- Whitman-Walker Health
- AIDS Action Coalition
- AIDS Alabama
- AIDS Resource Center Ohio
- AIDS Arms
- Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
- Christie’s Place
- Collaborative Solutions, Inc.
- Delaware HIV Consortium
- God’s Love We Deliver
- IV CHARIS
- Metro Wellness & Community Centers
- Minnesota AIDS Project
- Nashville CARES
- National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development
- NO/AIDS Task Force
- Project Inform
- Southern AIDS Coalition
- Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative
- Treatment Access Expansion Project
- Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services
- Women With A Vision
*PPC members as of June 30, 2014