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The Power of our Collective Voice

Ronald Johnson, vice president of policy and advocacy at AIDS United, is a lifetime HIV-advocate. Currently, he is gearing up for AIDSWatch, the nation’s largest annual constituent-based national HIV/AIDS advocacy event. I spoke with Ronald to learn more about his motivations, experience as an advocate, and what to expect at AIDSWatch this year.

Posted By: Sarah Hashmall, Communications Manager - Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Lifting Your Voice & Speaking Your Truth To Congress on HIV

The Presidents' Day recess will soon be upon us, which means that members of Congress will be back in their home districts and states. However, the vast majority of them will not be meeting with their constituents in the town halls that are being called for all across the country, with some going so far as to cancel pre-existing meetings. Next week, we need to remind members of Congress that they can cancel town halls, but they can’t run away from democracy.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, February 17, 2017


Congress Watch: Cabinet Confirmations & Stalled Appropriations

Another week, another flurry of controversial confirmation votes, budgetary developments and debate around the future of our nation's health care. From Vice President Pence casting the tie breaking vote in the controversial confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell using Senate procedure to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren for reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King, this past week in Congress certainly wasn't devoid of drama.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Thursday, February 09, 2017


What Motivated Me to Become an HIV Advocate: A Conversation with Brenda Simmons

Brenda Simmons has been an HIV advocate for almost 30 years. She is deeply engaged in her Chicago community, and works as an outreach specialist at the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project. She’s currently gearing up to attend AIDSWatch, nation’s largest annual constituent-based national HIV/AIDS advocacy event. I caught up with Ms. Simmons to learn more about her and what fuels her advocacy.

Posted By: Sarah Hashmall, Communications Manager - Thursday, February 09, 2017


When The HIV Community Speaks, Congress Better Learn to Listen

If we are to save the Affordable Care Act, or at least ensure that its most vital benefits are preserved in a replacement plan, people living with HIV and those who advocate alongside them must engage in sustained, vocal opposition to any politician who tries to take our health care from us. Whether it's attending rallies, packing town hall meetings or flooding flooding the phone lines of members of Congress to make our expectations crystal clear, we cannot stop advocating for one another so long as our health care and well being hang in the balance. The work will often be taxing and will rarely be glamorous, but it is necessary if we hold out any hope of ensuring that the needs of all people living with HIV and other chronic diseases are met.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Thursday, February 09, 2017


Chaos at the Stroke of a Pen

As the world has discovered over the past 2 weeks, Donald Trump the President and Donald Trump the Candidate are 2 sides of the same coin. Between signing Executive Orders to place a gag rule preventing NGOs receiving federal funds from so much as mentioning abortion and instituting a potentially unconstitutional and definitely harmful ban on Muslim immigrants from 7 Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East and Africa, Trump has swept into Washington like a tornado. In response to Trump's frightening spate of Executive Orders, progressives, moderates and even some conservatives have taken to the streets & social media to express their displeasure with many of the Trump administration's actions.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, February 03, 2017


For The GOP, Repeal & Replace Isn't As Easy As Once Thought

For seven years, the Republican refrain on the Affordable Care Act had been a constant and unyielding one that emphasized the repeal of health care law above all else. However, now that they have majorities in both houses of Congress and occupy The White House, the anti-Obamacare rhetoric to which they had so steadfastly clung has softened among many Republicans, with some going so far as to ditch the language of "repeal & replace" in exchange for talk of fixing or repairing the ACA. How will GOP leadership walk the tightrope between this newly reconcile this increasingly ACA-friendly portion of their party with those who still will settle for nothing less than full repeal of President Obama's signature health care law?

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, February 03, 2017


NAESM Continues to Incite Social Change Through 2017 Conference

In this report from the 2017 National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and Other Health Disparities, AIDS United looks at the role that organizations like the National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities and the Southern AIDS Coalition are playing in fighting back against health disparities for black gay and bisexual men in the United States.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, February 03, 2017


This Week in Congress: Little Movement, Lots of Politics

The first month of the 115th Congress can be described in many ways, but boring certainly isn't one of them. If anything the news coming from the Hill is getting more and more frantic as time goes by, with last week being no exception. From the Senate Finance Committee's rule-breaking vote to push through the nominations of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for HHS Secretary and Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary to 2 Republican Senators crossing party lines to oppose the controversial nomination of charter school advocate & major GOP donor Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, chaos and controversy were the rule rather than the exception.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, February 03, 2017


Amidst Massive Federal Turnover, Some Top Obama Health Care Appointees Temporarily Retain Positions

Much of the federal government has been sent into a bit of tailspin in the first week of Donald Trump's presidency, with massive walkouts from top level staffers at the State Department and other departments to a number of agencies ranging from the National Park Service & EPA to NASA forming rogue social media accounts to combat gag orders & restrictions from the new administration. However, a number of high ranking health care officials who were appointed by President Obama have managed to hold onto their positions, albeit temporarily.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, January 27, 2017

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