AIDSWatch 2020 Set for March 30, 31
AIDS United has announced that AIDSWatch 2020, the largest yearly constituent-based national HIV advocacy event, will be held on March 30 and 31 at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia.
The purpose of AIDSWatch is to bring together people living with HIV and their allies to meet with members of Congress and to educate legislators about the issues at stake for people living with and/or affected by HIV.
The first day of the conference is dedicated to advocacy training, featuring guest speakers, presentations and discussions on policy issues, messaging, and hosting a legislative meeting. The first day will also present opportunities for state teams and special interest groups to organize and plan for Hill visits. On the second day of the conference, attendees will converge on Capitol Hill for pre-arranged meetings with legislators.
One of the issues bound to come up at AIDSWatch 2020 is President Trump’s 2020-2021 budget for Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan For America. While acknowledging that the budget allocates a healthy $716-million to the fight against HIV/AIDS (more than double the allocation for last year), “the benefits of this fiscal year’s investment in HIV begin to slide away when placed side by side with the Trump administration’s massive cuts to public health, housing and safety net programs,” AIDS United said in a press release. When the proposed budget was released, the Partnership to End HIV, STDs, and Hepatitis (of which AIDS United is a member) said that the Administration’s “cuts to Medicaid, HOPWA, and Medicare (among other safety net programs) will… be devastating to people living with and at risk for HIV…[and] will have a disproportionate impact on communities prioritized in the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, including low-income Black and Latinx populations, and will only deepen existing HIV disparities.”
Other topics, as outlined in AIDS United’s Advocate Briefs, will include health care access, the civil rights of people living with HIV, and adolescent sexual health education.
Registration for AIDSWATCH 2020 is $40.00; after March 9, 2020, $75.00. You can register at https://mm.swoogo.com/aidswatch2020/begin. For more information, log on to AIDS United’s website: www.aidsunited.org/Policy-0024-Advocacy/AIDSWatch.aspx.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.