National HIV/AIDS strategy

Posted in Uncategorized by SCHA-LA on July 13, 2010

The White House has released the first-ever National #HIV/AIDS Strategy. you can download the entire document at

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Commission agenda

Posted in Uncategorized by SCHA-LA on July 6, 2010

Agen-Cmmssn Mtg-070810-final

Attached is the agenda for the July 8, 2010 Commission meeting. Please note that this meeting is scheduled to end earlier than usual. The full Commission packet for this meeting will be posted to the Commission’s website by COB Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

Thanks, Craig

Craig A. Vincent-Jones
Executive Director
Los Angeles County Commission on HIV
3530 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1140
Los Angeles, CA 90010
TEL 213.639.6714
FAX 213.637.4748

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PACHA call meltdown

Posted in hiv by SCHA-LA on July 2, 2010

HIV PJA LiveBlogs PACHA, Persists When Fed Call Goes Awry!

PACHA Says Sorry,
Announces Last Minute Public Comment Call for FRIDAY

Thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday for the first HIV PJA LiveBlog.

We started the conversation as people with HIV and other activists around the country while we waited on hold for the teleconference meeting of the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) , the top advisory body to President Obama on the epidemic. Its membership includes people living with HIV, and it also includes long-time allies of CHAMP and members of the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance.

The main item of business was passing a resolution that addressed the crisis in access to AIDS drugs, referencing the need for more (and more than one year) funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and the need to accelerate expanded access to Medicaid coverage for people with HIV through the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA).

But halfway through the call, things went haywire when they open up the phone lines, unmuting everyone and then cutting everyone off abruptly and terminating the call! It was a disappointment to those who were scheduled to give public comment (only eight were allowed to begin with, but then only one got a chance to do it) and everyone else who wanted to chime in but was not allowed.

Seems like our homegrown first time liveblog ran more smoothly than the actual PACHA meeting, even though our servers crashed just 15 minutes before we went live!

People on the call were left confused and disappointed, and even angry that it was unclear if or how they could give comment. It didn’t help that the call itself started about 15 minutes into the one hour session…

Within minutes of the blog wrap-up, the HIV PJA got calls from HHS and the Office of National AIDS Policy, apologizing and asking how they could make this right.
We asked them for an explaination in writing of what happened; for a reconvening of the meeting as soon as possible; and for all future PACHA meetings to be announced not only in the goverment-ese Federal Register but have additional plain-language announcements of what will occur, how the public can be involved, and all ways to get your input to PACHA.

We noted that PACHA Chair Helene Gayle never announced during the call that the public could submit comments to Melvin Joppy or otherwise explained the format for the call, which gathered the PACHA members on the phone but was also open to the rest of us as well, and demanded that this be rectified in future meetings.

Then today, PACHA posted on their website an apology and notice of a follow-up call two days from now – the Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend! – but neglected to notify us, once again ignoring a vital channel of public information. The apology and details on the call follows. We will also let you know if the call is pushed back to allow more time for people to put it in their calendars….

But first, a few follow up points:

1) Here’s a recording of the PACHA Call itself.

2) The actual PACHA members lauded our blog, and are not responsible for the meeting’s faults:

If you go to the liveblog transcript on our site, you’ll see that multiple PACHA members joined us. We want to stress that they did not set up the meeting nor are they responsible for communications or technical difficulties. Thanks for participating, and for being open to public comment to PACHA, and for participating in public engagement on PACHA.

3) LiveBloggers prepare to use PACHA resolution for mobilization for US Treatment Access!:

Even as the resolution on drug access was passing, our LiveBloggers were springing into action. They started making plans to collect endorsements for the PACHA resolution as a mobilization tool – look for that in the coming days and get ready to accelerate action for universal AIDS drug access!

4) Public access to government processes affecting our lives is a human right and vital for HIV Prevention Justice.

Everyone has tech problems. Don’t we know it…

But we need to see a clear and sustained committment to openness, transparancy and public involvement from the leadership of PACHA. Holding a follow-up call on little notice, in the waning hours before a holiday weekend, is not the answer. Clear and timely public engagement that is consistent and truly accessible to the broad range of people living with HIV and their allies is necessary. This engagement includes not just listening but actually responding, working with the public to move forward on HIV prevention justice and other key issues in the domestic epidemic. As we prepare for the release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), we demand a visible and measurable commitment to true public engagement as the NHAS moves forward.

Here is the PACHA apology and announcement:

Conference Call July 29th/Next Public Comment Conference Call July 2, 2010


We deeply regret the technical meltdown that was experienced in the PACHA conference call yesterday, Tuesday, June 29, 2010. It was a very unfortunate and frustrating situation for everyone involved. Because the call was scheduled for only one hour and was devoted to addressing one agenda, we set aside 8 public comment slots. The 8 individuals who were slated to speak were the first to respond to the Federal Register notice. As many of you know or heard, Carl Schmid from the AIDS Institute was the only one of the 8 that had the chance to speak.

Clearly from the conversations that took place following the abruptly ended conference call and the many postings on blogs and discussions across chat lines it is apparent that many people would like to have the opportunity to give oral remarks for the record.

We have set up a conference call for Friday, July 2, 2010 from 2 PM until 3:30 PM EST. The conference call lines will be open for one and a half hours to permit anyone who wishes to offer public comments to do so at that time. Each presenter will be limited to 2 minutes to place their statement into record.

Call-in = 888-566-1019
Passcode = 5709402

To send written comments please email Melvin Joppy at with your name, affiliation, contact information and comments.

Most importantly, PACHA did unanimously pass the ADAP Resolution and we it is being sent through formal channels to Secretary Sebelius. To view the Resolution go here:

The transcript of the call will go on the PACHA early next week.

Please stay tuned to and for news, blogs, and upcoming meeting announcements.

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Governor’s Proposed HIV Budget

Posted in CA Budget, hiv by SCHA-LA on June 22, 2010

Brief-State Budget Cuts #9 FY10-11 May Revise-061010-final to read the whole 3-page brief.

Highlights (or, rather, lowlights) include:

  • The budget includes the Governor’s January proposal to eliminate all ADAP support from county jails.
  • There is a proposed $32.7 million reduction to ADAP.
  • Eliminate full MediCal coverage for immigrants who have lawfully resided in the US less than five years.
  • Eliminate domestic and related services for IHSS recipients who have “less severe” impairments
  • Reduce the monthly SSI grant for an individual
  • Eliminate Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) and the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
  • The complete elimination of CalWORKs by October 1, 2010.

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CA May HIV Budget Revision Proposal

Posted in CA Budget by SCHA-LA on June 22, 2010

Click on the link to download the brief:  Brief-State Budget Cuts #9 FY10-11 May Revise-061010-final

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Q and A With Dr. Roland

Posted in CA Budget, hiv by SCHA-LA on May 13, 2010

Questions to Dr Roland:

5.6million allocation from HRSA. What is the breakdown again?

ADAP $4.7m

MAI $207k

Base $691.6k

“diversion communities” 9k

Are there any attempts to amend bill that would allow electronic reporting from other jurisdictions?

Not aware of any being prepared by author. That limitation is recognized. Very difficult for me to talk abt legislation when it is active.

Re CA care & prevention plans – what’s up?

CPG/OA Jointly developing integrated care & prevention plan. It’s really impossible to do good planning or programming with separate plans, but in terms of planning we need to do, we need to have a joint plan. Foremost charge of cpg.

Room for community input- but no details from michelle about what that means.

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update from State Office of AIDS

Posted in CA Budget, hiv by SCHA-LA on May 13, 2010

Michelle Roland’s update (State Office of AIDS)
May Revise:
Might come out at 11 instead of 1. As soon as she knows she’ll send out notifications. There is a lt more likely to be in the budget which will impact PWAs than just SOA programs.
Program Allocations:
Re: increased HRSA Part B award: we got $5.6mill. very specific abt alloc $4.7 to ADAP $307k to MAI and … (didn’t get it – sorry.)
CARE funding has been a distressing situation for us. Last year we sent out 2 sets of allocation tables. 1st made initial decisions about how to handle loss of general funds, but then got an increase (1 time supplement) and we don’t have that at this point, so we’re back to that same pot + a little bit of addl $ in base award.
There is 89% of resources compared to last year.
LA County minus LB had reduction to 89.2% of the current FY allocation.
Continuing to work with all allocation formulas as fast as possible to move to a straight formula… many subjective issues which come up with changing …
Hard to have less $ on top of less $
Main diff with MAI is that last year there were 2 counties which would have rcvd MAI but they didn’t b/c of not getting previous bridge funding and there might not be capacity to do reporting, but this year they weill get it. 19 counties instead of 17. The amt is bad. Current year – for entire state is $875k. next year $1mill for entire state. Tyring to figure out a balance of giving jurisdictions a reasonable, meaningful amount and trying to stretch to as many jurisdictions as possible.
This year we anticipate receiving $1m less from general funds. Good news is that when we were faced with this last year, with all the ehars and names-based changes, we had to terminate any contracts with any academic partners who were helping us with research. All OA staff entirely funded with CDC research funds. This year, though, we have to pass the reduction to the local jurisdictions. Used a 2-step capping strategy… hold-harmless factors…
Everyone is doing a great job getting data into our surveillance systems associated with ehars transition. We are still not a names-based state yet. Increased RW award shows this.
AB2541 re: electronic lab reporting issue. The state system is under development & getting ready to be piloted. We need to ensure that hiv will be part of this.
Some sort of matching system between office of corrections & office of aids. Able to leverage this to understand better what is happening with hiv+ inmates. Questions about reporting from those institutions.
Successfully completed ehars migration. Not been able to implement full functionality due to state issues.

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summary of motion

Posted in hiv by SCHA-LA on May 13, 2010

revised motion:

“Move that up to $300k of funding be utilized by OAPP at it’s discretion to provide stable housing for HIV+ persons & their families who would otherwise lose their current housing due to their inability to qualify for other credible programs.”


“want to make sure that the neediest families get it first. Want to make sure that the money is used for housing and that it doesn’t get used somewhere else.”

“the word undocumented was taken out on purpose. We were told that we legally shouldn’t say that.”

“$1,329 per person is what it comes out to. Is this enough money to really help? Is OAPP the agency which can really make it happen with that little amount of money. I’ in support of making this happen. Also, I’m gonna get a lot of questions about where this money is coming from. I don’t see the city stepping in in a proactive way. I understand the pressure we can apply, but… they might not be proactive in this process. It’s a lot of questions.”

“I applaud OAPP for this. This motion is fraught with peril frankly. these folks are not gonna be kept in their current housing with this money. They are going to have to move out. If it’s stopgap and instant – is it THIS instant? as much as this is an issue of justice, I think this motion is problematic on a lot of issues and I move to postpone. And I will come back if we need to schedule an emergency meeting I will be there.”

“There was a second to the motion to postpone. This will require a majority vote. YES means consider at a future date. NO means vote today.” result:  MOTION NOT CARRIED.

Back to the motion at the top of this post:

“purely personal. This IS something we have to do today. We’re talking about people… we’re not talking about helping them AFTER they lost their housing. To engage them into case after that – the cost will be huge.”

“I want to help these people but I don’t think this is the way to do it. OAPP can do it with Net County Cost (NCC). I believe they can and will do so. It’s inappropriate to emotionally pull this money from we don’t know where”

people are talking too fast for me to accurately transcribe, so this is rough…

“I’m going to oppose this motion [because] it’s a very emotional issue – we all want a solution. This is a potentially illegal use of Ryan White dollars. This potentially highlights our ability to use RW  for undocumented [and what the fallout of that would be] Politically it creates a release valve and therefore doesn’t force the question on the original issue. I don’t like that outcome because it causes people to lose their housing, but it must be done to find a permanent solution.

There are 5 households who are being evicted in May, but more in June, July & August. Over the next 12 months there are 124 vulnerable households who could be removed involuntarily from their homes.

I would not say that this pot of money is stepping in to address that. I would say that this pot of money is there if it is needed.

We want to assist people in the Shelter Plus Care (S+C) program. Terry Goddard mentioned other programs which could be affected. We are only working on S+C issue. That’s all we’re talking about in this motion.

I am concerned that I don’t think that anyone here wants to vote to take away housing from someone. I can say that speaking from experience (referring to nutrition support drama last year). Caution us to pay attention to how we frame/phrase what we are doing.

It is implied that there may be other resources. If that is the case, we would like OAPP to spend other resources prior to using these funds – can we say that in the motion? We would like a demonstration that other resources have been exhausted?

We can say that this is funding of last resort. You would have to amend the motion.

Parliamentarian says that there might be “some implication” about who/what “last resort” means.

Motion to amend the motion seconded.

We have no authority to make a motion of net county cost.

co-chairs do not object to addition of this language.

Motion amended to include that language about ‘last resort’

If we don’t address this now it will cost more to the county in the end.

Regardless of how we vote today, this is a major public health issue. This is a canary in the coalmine. My suggestion is that we try to prioritize families with children first.

Sharon White (public comment): as a rep for SPA 6 (south LA) I heard some things about the MAI (Minority AIDS Initiative). I just want to know: how are there funds that are left over?

[public comment is not answered but it can be added to the agenda for P&P so it can be discussed]

this vote is outside of the conversation about actual allocations continuing in P&P subcommittee meetings.


“Move that up to $300k of Ryan White funding be utilized by OAPP at it’s discretion to provide stable housing for HIV+ persons & their families who would otherwise lose their current housing due to their inability to qualify for other credible programs. Ryan White funding should only be used if other funding sources can’t be found or utilized.”

summary of the pre-vote comments: don’t pick on people who don’t vote the way you want them too. Everyone around the table is great.

watt – y

washington-hendricks – y

Villa –

sotomayor – y

simon – y

rivera – y

peterson – y

goddard – y

o’malley – y

o’brien – n

lopez – y

long – abs

liso – y

kochems – n

johnson – n

james – y

goodman – y

guigni – y

engeran-cordova – n

deaugustine – abs

ceja – y

butler – abs

ballesteros – y

avina – y

daly – y

braswell – y

yes = 17

no = 4

abstain – 4


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Center for AIDS Prevention down – consent decree

Posted in hiv by SCHA-LA on March 11, 2010


There have been a LOT of articles about the Center for AIDS Prevention (see below), the fake AIDS charity which was soliciting funds from all over the country. A Consent Decree has been signed in Illinois, and their website is down. I think this means that they’re out of business.

I checked with Chris Weaver, Expert-at-Large, and he tells me:

On your second question, in short, No. It means only that they won’t be able to work in Illinois or qualify to do business elsewhere as an Illinois-based company. Because this is a matter of state law, not federal law, nothing prevents Neely and his associates from incorporating a new business – perhaps with the same name – in California or any other state. However, California may decide not to grant Neely’s applications on the basis of the Illinois charge, which Jerry Brown’s office is aware of. Brown’s spokesman could not say whether they would mirror the Illinois action.

So, for now, we’re happy. I sent an email to Lomax Burnett (, the fellow who some local activists paid a visit to in Beverly Hills and the spokesperson for CAP, and it bounced back with the following message:

Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:
The recipient’s e-mail address is invalid. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please check the recipient’s e-mail address and try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.

The following organization rejected your message:


ProPublica articles on CAP

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Budget Analysis Slides

Posted in CA Budget by SCHA-LA on January 14, 2010

Pres-State 2010 Budget Cuts Overview-011410 Julie Cross gave an excellent overview of what is going on with the budget, and the complex context in which we have to strategize.

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