The following is a summary of some of the most pressing current state and local issues affecting people living with or at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
APLA’s Government Affairs staff works in close collaboration with a diverse group of community-based AIDS service organizations, healthcare providers and public agencies throughout the state to develop and implement sound public policies affecting the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.
While not exhaustive, the following is a brief sampling of our advocacy partners.
AIDS Project Los Angeles is currently the participating community-based partner in the California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center, funded under a three year grant from University of California’s California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP). The CHRP grant funds both long-term and “rapid response” research, in order to bring the most up-to-date evidence-based research to bear on state policy issues.
In the Los Angeles Center, APLA is partnered with researchers from the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) , on both long-term and rapid response studies. In San Francisco, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Project Inform operate another research center in collaboration with researchers from the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at UCSF.
The CHRP grant also supports a Policy Research Advisory Committee (PRAC) made up of community leaders and advocates from across California in order to inform rapid research efforts and ensure that research is prioritized around the most pressing issues confronting the state.
Below you will find the Policy Research Center’s most recent policy briefs. These papers document work done by researchers at both academic institutions and will be used to inform elected officials, policy-makers, advocates and community members on HIV/AIDS facing California now and in the future.
The Alliance is comprised of seven AIDS service organizations throughout California who have an established political presence in Sacramento and who have a history of widespread, diverse and effective advocacy on HIV/AIDS-related legislative and public policy issues in Sacramento. APLA works with its fellow Alliance members to promote its state legislative agenda and to coordinate advocacy on vital budget and administrative issues.
In addition to APLA, the Alliance members are:
This bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services, in consultation with counties, the State Department of Social Services, representatives of the Statewide Automated Welfare System (SAWS) consortia, consumers, and other affected stakeholder groups to conduct a stakeholder planning workgroup to develop a joint renewal and recertification form to be used by individuals and families who are recipients of one or more of the Medi-Cal, Food Stamp, or CalWORKs benefit programs. This bill would require the stakeholder planning workgroup to develop the renewal and recertification form, and any related policies and procedures, to be considered for adoption by the department and other entities.
► Text of AB 963
Existing law regulates the sale, possession, and disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes. Under existing law, a prescription is required to purchase a hypodermic needle or syringe for human use, except to administer adrenaline or insulin.
Existing law, until December 31, 2010, authorizes a city or county to authorize a licensed pharmacist to sell or furnish 10 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes to a person for human use without a prescription if the pharmacy is registered with a local health department in the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project. Existing law prohibits the possession and sale of drug paraphernalia, but until December 31, 2010, allows a person, if authorized by a city or county, to possess 10 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes if acquired through an authorized source.
This bill would delete the December 31, 2010, end dates for these authorizations and would thereby reestablish these authorizations indefinitely.
► Text of AB 1701
This bill would permit the State Department of Public Health to authorize certain entities, that meet prescribed conditions, to provide hypodermic needle and syringe exchange services in any location where the department determines that the conditions exist for the rapid spread of HIV, viral hepatitis, or any other potentially deadly or disabling infection spread through the sharing of used hypodermic needles and syringes.
The bill would also require the department to allow local entities to apply for authorization to provide hypodermic needle and syringe exchange services and to establish and maintain on its Internet Web site the address and contact information of programs providing hypodermic needle and syringe exchange services. The bill would change related hearing requirements from annually to biennially.
► Text of AB 1858
Existing law requires the State Department of Mental Health, acting through the superintendent of the Langly Porter Clinic, to plan, conduct, and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including deviations conducive to sex crimes against children, and the causes and cures of homosexuality, and into methods of identifying potential sex offenders.
This bill would, instead, require the department to plan, conduct, and cause to be conducted scientific research into the prevention of sex crimes against children and into methods of identifying those who commit sexual offenses.
► Text of AB 2199
Existing law establishes various communicable disease prevention and control programs. Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to establish a list of reportable diseases and conditions and authorizes the department to adopt regulations requiring isolation or quarantine for any contagious, infectious, or communicable diseases, if necessary, for the protection of the public health.
Existing law requires the local health officer to report the listed diseases to the department, and requires that, within one year after the establishment of a state electronic laboratory reporting system, reports generated by a laboratory be submitted electronically in a manner specified by the department, except for reports of HIV infections. Existing law requires health care providers and laboratories to report cases of HIV infection to the local health officer using patient names.
This bill would delete the exemption from electronic reporting for HIV infections and would make conforming changes. To the extent that this bill would impose additional requirements on a local public health officer and because this bill changes the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
► Text of AB 2541
This measure would request that the President of the United States encourage, and that the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services adopt, policies that repeal the current donor suitability and deferral policies of the federal Food and Drug Administration regarding the donation of blood and blood products by gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual males.
► Text of AJR 13
The bill would specify that no priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination would be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. The bill would state that any refusal to solemnize a marriage under that provision shall not affect the tax exempt status of any entity.
► Text of SB 906
Existing law regulates the sale, possession, and disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes, and requires, with certain exceptions, a prescription to purchase a hypodermic needle or syringe for human use. Existing law prohibits any person from possessing or having under his or her control any hypodermic needle or syringe, except in accordance with those regulatory provisions.
This bill would delete the prohibition against any person possessing or having under his or her control any hypodermic needle or syringe, except in accordance with the aforementioned regulatory provisions.
Existing law, until December 31, 2010, authorizes a county or city to authorize a licensed pharmacist to sell or furnish 10 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes to a person 18 years of age or older for human use without a prescription if the pharmacist works for a pharmacy that is registered with a local health department in the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project, established by law to evaluate the long-term desirability of allowing licensed pharmacies to sell or furnish nonprescription hypodermic needles or syringes to prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis C.
This bill would, instead, for the period beginning January 1, 2011, and ending December 31, 2018, permit a physician or pharmacist, without a prescription or a permit, to furnish 30 or fewer hypodermic needles and syringes for human use to a person 18 years of age or older and would permit a person 18 years of age or older, without a prescription or license, to obtain 30 or fewer hypodermic needles and syringes solely for personal use from a physician or pharmacist. This bill would make conforming changes, including the elimination of the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project.
Under existing law, it is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking specified controlled substances.
Existing law, until December 31, 2010, provides that the above-described provisions, pursuant to authorization from a city or county, shall not apply to the possession solely for personal use of 10 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes.
This bill would, instead, provide that the above-described provisions making it unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia for unlawfully injecting or smoking certain controlled substances shall not apply for the period beginning January 1, 2011, and ending December 31, 2018, to possession solely for personal use of 30 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes if acquired from a physician, pharmacist, hypodermic needle and syringe exchange program, or any other source that is authorized by law to provide sterile syringes or hypodermic needles without a prescription.
This bill would require the state Office of AIDS to develop and maintain information on its Internet Web site to educate consumers at risk of bloodborne infections of opportunities to improve and protect the consumer's health, and to protect the public health and would also require the California State Board of Pharmacy to post, or post a link to, this information on its Internet Web site.
The Pharmacy Law requires a pharmacist to keep detailed records of nonprescription sales of hypodermic needles and syringes. Existing law makes it a crime to knowingly violate any provision relating to the Pharmacy Law.
This bill would amend the Pharmacy Law to require pharmacies that furnish nonprescription hypodermic needles and syringes to store the hypodermic needles and syringes in a manner that ensures that they are not accessible to unauthorized persons, and would require pharmacies to provide consumers with prescribed options for consumer disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes. This bill would also require the pharmacies to provide written information or verbal counseling at the time of furnishing or sale of nonprescription hypodermic needles or syringes, as specified. By changing the definition of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
► Text of SB 1029
Please keep in mind that these are just budget proposals. Administration and legislative leaders are currently in negotiations to produce a state budget.
The administration estimates that California must address a $17.9 billion gap between current-law resources and expenditures in the 2010-2011 General Fund budget. This could mean cuts to safety net services that many low-income and disabled Californians depend on for care and treatment.
The governor proposed a revised increase of $54.8 million to ADAP from the General Fund. The governor originally proposed an increase of $87.5 million. The number was reduced as a result of technical adjustments, a court case regarding average wholesale pricing of drugs and other internal administrative changes. The proposed cut of ADAP funding to county jails continues to be in the governor’s proposal, but no additional programmatic cuts were proposed by the governor in the May Revise.
Last year, the governor cut $82 million to the state Office of AIDS budget. These cuts eliminated state funding for therapeutic monitoring, home and community based care, HIV counseling and testing, education and prevention, Early Intervention Programs and housing services. The California Legislature has voted to restore some of this funding, but full restoration is unlikely considering the budget crisis.
Proposed changes to Medi-Cal include: Medi-Cal beneficiary co-pays on doctor visits, emergency room visits, and hospital visits; as well as a limit of overall physician/clinic visits to 10 per year. In addition the proposal calls for Medi-Cal beneficiary co-payments on drugs; limits prescriptions to six per month (not including “life saving” drugs); and eliminates of coverage for certain OTC drugs. Other proposed changes include enrolling seniors and people with disabilities in Medi-Cal managed care; eliminating Adult day health care services; and eliminating Medi-Cal reimbursement for certain substance abuse programs like Drug Medi-Cal.
Among the many government agencies with which APLA interacts to maximize the effectiveness of these programs are: