SYNC2021 was held virtually September 21–22, 2021.
The digital Conference Guide is available in PDF format.Download as PDF
Credits are only awarded for session attendance at the live conference. Credits are not available for post-conference recordings.
Welcome from Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her fifteenth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. She serves on two committees: the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Before her congressional service, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve as the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She came to Congress as a national figure who had been a civil rights and feminist leader, tenured professor of law, and board member at three Fortune 500 companies. Congresswoman Norton has been named one of the 100 most important American women in one survey and one of the most powerful women in Washington in another. The Congresswoman’s work for full congressional voting representation and for full democracy for the people of the District of Columbia continues her lifelong struggle for universal human and civil rights.
Keynote by Harold J. Phillips
Harold J. Phillips, MRP, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). In this position, he leads the effort to set the Administration’s domestic HIV/AIDS priorities. This includes monitoring and implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), consulting with the Office of Management and Budget, coordinating with others on the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council, and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to ensure America’s response to the HIV epidemic is accelerated, comprehensive and reflective of the lived experiences of those at risk of and living with HIV. This work is done to reduce the number of new HIV transmissions, improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and end the HIV epidemic.
Prior to joining the White House, Mr. Phillips served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. There, he coordinated the initiative’s activities across the Department’s operating divisions.
- Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. House of Representatives
- Harold J. Phillips, Director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy
SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Government
The concept of a syndemic approach to disease intervention and modeling was proposed more than two decades ago. This strategy highlighted the SYNChronistic interplay of societal forces and their effect on shaping epidemics. Across all levels of local, state, and federal governments, collaborations, investments, and innovations are made that aim to address the epidemics of HIV, sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), viral Hepatitis, and substance use disorder.
Through their community lens and vision, speakers will highlight the way in which their government’s response to those epidemics best examines and addresses the systemic or structural factors that disproportionately affect community engagement in, access to, and utilization of health services—looking particularly across racial and ethnic minority populations and the LGBTQ communities.
Speakers will also discuss the need to sustain existing evidence and outcomes-based services in their current forms, while also intensifying efforts, policies, and program innovations that address the social determinants of health and continued breakdown of healthcare silos for prioritized communities.
- Laura Cheever, Associate Administrator for HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Demetre Daskalakis, CDC Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP)
- James Macrae, Associate Administrator for Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration
- Leandro Mena, Director of the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
- Jonathan Mermin, Director, CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Impact of COVID-19 on ASOs, CBOs, and Service Providers
The course of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States echoes that of HIV over the past four decades, with racial and ethnic groups and sexual and gender minorities bearing a disparate burden of both diseases. The pandemic has further exacerbated the psychosocial determinants that have created barriers to HIV prevention and health services for many people at risk and living with HIV. This session will review the results of the COVID-19 Rapid Risk and Resiliency Project (R3A), an exploratory sequential multiple methods study that sought to produce a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of HIV service providers (clinical and non-clinical) and customers of HIV prevention and care services in Washington, DC and Maryland.
The presentation will outline the facilitators, barriers, lessons learned and best practices. It will further engender a discussion about next steps in providing HIV prevention and care services during a pandemic, including support for rapid adoption of service delivery models; restoring access to services for customers of HIV prevention and care services; and introducing changes to strengthen systems capacity to prepare for future disruptions.
- Circe Gray Le Compte, Senior Director of Health Services Research and Evaluation at HealthHIV
- Erin Starzyk, Director of Health Services Research and Evaluation, HealthHIV
- Gerran Thomas, Clinical Capacity Building Assistance Manager at HealthHIV
HIV, HCV, STI, and COVID-19-Related Stigma, Racism, Homophobia, and Transphobia: Intersections, Social Determinants, and Structures
In this session, participants will learn how stigma, racism, homophobia, and transphobia create interrelated oppressions that fuel, amplify, and reinscribe the ongoing marginalization of underserved populations in the U.S.. Speakers will discuss how these oppressions are multifaceted, driven by social norms and policies at the national, state, community, interpersonal, and individual levels, and have historically driven disparate burdens of HIV, HCV, STIs, and now COVID-19. Special emphasis will be placed on addressing the marginalization of individuals and groups living at the intersection of underserved populations, identities, age groups, and disease states, and the unique stressors introduced by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers will describe current policies and programs being developed and currently in place to address social determinants, including gentrification, homelessness, poverty, and under/unemployment, in an effort to facilitate unfettered access to prevention, treatment, and care services and improve health outcomes.
- Circe Gray Le Compte, Senior Director of Health Services Research and Evaluation at HealthHIV
- Cordella Lyon, Registered Nurse and Program Coordinator of Preventative Screening at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas
- Sohail Rana, Professor of Pediatrics at Howard University
- Brandon Wilson, Public Health Advisor with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health
Telehealth: Implementation During COVID-19 and Implications Moving Forward
Telehealth encompasses a broad range of healthcare activities, such as direct provision of health services by video or phone, use of apps or text message services to promote health, integration of remote monitoring or wearable devices to provide real-time health data measures, and tele-mentoring consultations. The uptake of telehealth has been slow in the United States for the delivery of healthcare services for individuals with chronic conditions like HIV and viral hepatitis. The COVID-19 pandemics offered providers and patients the opportunity to deliver and receive remote healthcare services via telehealth. This session will provide learners an overview of telehealth models used delivery of prevention, care, treatment, and support services for individual with chronic conditions, as well as, to forecast future use of technology in healthcare.
- Michael Shankle, Senior Director of Capacity Building, HealthHIV
SYNCing on HIV Planning: From EHE to Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Planning
This SYNC session is developed for health departments, HIV planning bodies, or other HIV planners and will focus on the recent CDC/HRSA Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan Guidance for 2022-2026. Presenters from JSI representing the Integrated HIV/AIDS Planning TA Center (IHAP TAC) will provide a brief overview of the guidance and its the changes from the 2015 guidance. Then they will facilitate a discussion on the changing HIV landscape since 2015, concerns or questions on the recent guidance, challenges that health departments and HIV planners foresee, and how the IHAP TAC can provide support.
- Julie Hook, Senior Consultant at JSI
- Gretchen Weiss, Co-Director of the JSI and World Education Center for HIV & Infectious Diseases
SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Transgender Health
This plenary session explores lessons learned, challenges and strategies for increased engagement within Transgender Communities to ensure retention in both treatment and prevention services.
- Diana Oliva, Associate Director Community Engagement, Gilead Sciences
- Mimi Shelton, Director of Trans Initiatives, Destination Tomorrow
- Aryah Lester, Deputy Director, Transgender Strategy Center
- Bamby Salcedo, President & Chief Executive Officer, Translatin@ Coalition
- Zakia McKensey, Nationz Foundation
SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Service Providers
AIDS Service Organizations/Community-Based Organizations, social service agencies, and health centers employ the frontline workforce implementing national strategies and services to end the epidemics. The effects of HIV, STIs, viral hepatitis, and COVID-19 are only amplified in communities by the social determinants of health. Operating in a pandemic has placed extraordinary stress on the safety net services and the frontline workforce caring for underserved communities, all the while illuminating the vulnerabilities and resiliencies of the systems of care. This plenary session will explore how service providers are advancing the goals of the national strategies, addressing social determinants of health, and ensuring the resiliency of the frontline service providers.
- Guillermo Chacón, President, Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder of the Hispanic Health Network
- Dazon Dixon Diallo, Founder and President, SisterLove
- DeMarc Hickson, Executive Director, Us Helping Us
- Kathie Hiers, Chief Executive Officer, AIDS Alabama
- Tyler TerMeer, Chief Executive Officer of Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) and Prism Health
- Mojgan Zare, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition
Hepatitis C/HIV/HCV Co-Infection Institute
This session provides an overview of how health departments, healthcare organizations, academic research centers, and community-based organizations are supporting hepatitis C (HCV) elimination efforts around the US. The session highlights speakers from model programs who will review their challenges and successes. Speakers discuss key considerations for other organizations seeking to expand or initiate their own HCV elimination efforts locally.
- Terry Kemp-Knick, UVA Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health
- Lesley S. Miller, Medical Director, Grady Liver Clinic
- Thaddeus Pham, Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator for the Hawaii State Department of Health
Aging with HIV Institute
Providers and Practitioners on the State of HIV Care Coordination
By 2030, nearly 75% of all people living with HIV (PWH) in the US will be aged 50 and older. 84% will most likely have at least one (1) additional comorbidity; 28% will have three (3)—compared with only 19% of those not living with HIV. And while older PWH have shown higher rates of service engagement compared with their younger counterparts, the successes prolonging “physical” health is undermining other aspects of successful aging with HIV and their interventions. Together with community leaders, provider participants will discuss and frame their shared experience conversations into adaptive and innovative recommendations and evidence-based interventions that reduce disability and improve service delivery for PAWH.
Aging With HIV Roundtable: Care Coordination Includes Enhanced Quality of Life
With improved access to antiretrovirals, people are now aging and living longer with HIV (PAWH). While the care cascade highlights our shared medical successes, it doesn’t show the entire picture of the true “costs” of graying of HIV. In fact, health systems often overlook the underlying problem of HIV’s distinctiveness—especially as we age. In an increasingly bio-medicalized context of care delivery, what does successful aging with HIV look like? This roundtable brings together people living and aging with HIV (15 years or more) to review and reflect upon the current capacity and future constraints of the HIV and aging care and prevention services sectors, and the discrete needs that follow.
- Tez Anderson, Let’s Kick ASS
- Jon Appelbaum, Florida State University College of Medicine
- Scott Bertani, Director of Advocacy for HealthHIV
- Michelle Lopez, Healthy Aging Specialist at GMHC
- Donna Sweet, University of Kansas School of Medicine
- Val Wojciechowicz, Medical Peer Program Manager at Community AIDS Network/CAN Community Health
HIV Prevention Institute, Part 1
Impact of Policies on PrEP Access and Utilization
Given the current complexity of the United States healthcare system, implementation of health policies and strategies to mitigate barriers to HIV prevention are needed if we are to achieve our goals towards ending the HIV epidemic. The USPSTF Grade A recommendation and federal guidance requiring insurers to make PrEP and ancillary services available to individuals without cost-sharing is welcome news in efforts to expand access to PrEP. Our panelists will explore the impact the guidance from the USPSTF recommendations will have on access to PrEP, forthcoming long-acting options, and what barriers arise from utilization management techniques.
- Scott Bertani, Director of Advocacy for HealthHIV
- Mauda Monger, Chief Operating Officer at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc.
- Carl Schmid, Executive Director, HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute
Fiscal Health Institute, Part 1
Realizing the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Fiscal Monitoring Standards in Practice
Understanding the expectations regarding policies and procedures for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Fiscal Monitoring Standards is important to ensure compliance and programmatic success. This session will provide practical solutions for properly implementing the RWHAP Fiscal Monitoring Standards, including, a review of select standards and a discussion of how these can be actualized in practice through the use of policies and procedures.
- Jana Collins, KADAP Income Reinvestment Program
SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Science
SYNCing to end the HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STI, Opioid, and COVID-19 epidemics through science starts with a recognition that the many of the same forces and inequities that drive one epidemic fuel the rest, and that scientific advancements in one field can lead to breakthroughs in another. During the height of the pandemic, advancements in COVID-19 vaccine research advanced at a stunning pace. These advancements were expedited, in part, by the groundwork laid by more than 30 years of HIV vaccine research.
This plenary will look at the latest in scientific advances in prevention and treatment research. Speakers will provide diverse perspectives on the state of the field today, including opportunities, obstacles ahead, and priorities for actions moving forward.
- Myron Cohen, Director, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases/HIV Prevention Trials Network
- Lawrence Corey, Fred Hutchinson Center Cancer Institute / HIV Vaccine Trials Network
- Wafaa El-Sadr, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University / HIV Prevention Trials Network
- Gregorio Millett, Vice President and Director, Public Policy, AmFAR
- Steven Shoptaw, University of California, Los Angeles
SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Health Departments
Health departments are at the forefront of ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. Starting in 2019, 57 jurisdictions were accountable for making and tracking progress towards national EHE goals and indicators. One year later, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented opportunities and challenges to meeting these goals. As telehealth services expanded, some individuals increased engagement in HIV care. Conversely, fewer individuals accessed HIV prevention and care services, the public health workforce shifted priority away from HIV to COVID-19 response, HIV planning transitioned to all-virtual, and many service providers had to suspend services or close their doors. While health departments continue to face obstacles, they have adapted and innovated to reduce new HIV infections in their jurisdictions. This plenary session will explore progress, challenges, and strategies towards meeting the EHE goal and indicators over the past year.
- Anthony Fox, DC Department of Health
- Emalie Huriaux, Integration, Hepatitis C, and Drug User Health Program Manager, Washington State Department of Health
- Oskian Kouzouian, AHEAD Dashboard Lead, HHS
- Fernando Mena-Carrasco, Chief of the Center for HIV/STI Integration and Capacity, Maryland Department of Health
CANN – Annual National Monitoring Report on HIV/HCV Co-Infection
The Community Access National Network (CANN) — in collaboration with HealthHIV, HealthHCV, and the National Coalition for LGBT Health — is hosting the 6th Annual National Monitoring Report on HIV/HCV Co-Infection. During the community roundtable, CANN will present its annual report on the state of co-infection in the United States, including a summary of the HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch. HealthHIV also will report on its Fourth Annual HealthHCV State of HCV Care National Survey. This event is sponsored by the ADAP Advocacy Association, Avita Pharmacy, Janssen Pharmaceutical of Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and ViiV Healthcare.
- Jen Laws, Project Director, HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch
- Marissa Tonelli, HealthHIV
Capacity Building Providers SYNCing to Enhance HIV Prevention in the U.S.
This roundtable discussion presents current and upcoming offerings in capacity building assistance (CBA) as well as ideas for innovative approaches to meeting the demands of learners to enhance preventing HIV in the United States.
- Walt Colt, HealthHIV
- Henrietta Croswell, Senior Director, Primary Care Development Corporation
- Melissa Kelley, Senior Manager of Education, HealthHIV
- Moya Brown-Lopez, Director of Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)
- Jacqueline Peters, Project Coordinator/E-learning Content Lead, ETR
- Kelly Reinhardt, Project Director, Capacity Building Assistance Network (CPN)
SYNCing LGBTQ+ Health Equity Across 50 Cities (and Beyond)
At this summer’s WorldPride celebration in Copenhagen, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) launched a groundbreaking study on LGBTI+ health equity across 50 cities worldwide. In addition to a comprehensive desk review of public health data, research, laws, and policies, this study included a survey of 275 key informants on a variety of LGBTI+ health equity issues. Beyond health outcomes and healthcare access, this report takes a broad look at LGBTI+ health, including social determinants of health, criminal justice issues, discrimination, and resilience. At this session, we will discuss the report and its findings with some additional highlights and analysis specifically for SYNChronicity.
- Corey Prachniak-Rincón, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)
“Cured” Documentary — A Presentation by the Co-Directors
Described as “fascinating” (Hollywood Reporter), “riveting” (The Queer Review) and “astonishingly rich … one of the best documentaries of this or any year” (British Film Institute), CURED chronicles the battle waged by a small group of activists and their allies who declared war against a formidable institution — and won a crucial victory in the modern movement for LGBTQ equality.
Until 1973, the medical establishment classified every gay person — no matter how well-adjusted — as the victim of a disease. As long as lesbians and gay men were “sick,” progress toward equality was impossible. CURED takes viewers inside the David-versus-Goliath battle that led the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental illnesses.
Even though CURED highlights a story from the past, it offers lessons that are profoundly relevant today. This film reveals how a handful of determined individuals can create lasting social change. Watch the trailer for CURED at https://www.cureddocumentary.com.
The film will be broadcast on PBS as a part of the acclaimed documentary showcase, Independent Lens, on October 11th – National Coming Out Day. You can tune in at 10/9c (check local listings). CURED will also be available to stream for free on pbs.org and the PBS app for 30 days after the broadcast.
In this session, co-directors Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon outline the groundbreaking discoveries they made during the production process for CURED and how this chapter of LGBTQ history relates to other social justice movements.
- Patrick Sammon, Co-Director and Co-Producer of CURED
- Bennett Singer, Co-Director and Co-Producer of CURED
SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Communities
This plenary session will feature community and organizational representatives from diverse communities throughout the U.S. working with communities to address the social determinants of HIV, HCV, STIs, opioid use, and now COVID-19 through a health equity and social justice lens. A dynamic panel of speakers will discuss their approaches to establishing equitable partnerships with underserved populations within their communities, most notably racial and ethnic groups and sexual and gender minorities, to create and implement dynamic interventions and initiatives geared to improving health outcomes at the community and individual levels. Speakers will share how they engage stakeholders and promote these initiatives within their communities, as well as evaluate their impact, using information gleaned from assessments to address gaps in services and identify directions for future efforts. The session will conclude with a panel discussion during which speakers will sync intersections in their unique approaches to improving community-based health, emphasizing those that are transportable and replicable within other communities.
Learning objectives for this session are:
- Detail how research and community-based organizations build relationships with communities to create innovative initiatives to address the social determinants of HIV, HCV, STIs, opioid use, and COVID-19;
- Describe how research and community-based organizations work with local communities and other stakeholders to develop and implement interventions and initiatives grounded in health equity and social justice addressing HIV, HCV, STIs, opioid use, and COVID-19;
- Determine how research and community-based organizations use data to assess intervention and initiative impact and address gaps in delivery; and
- Describe intersections among community-based interventions and initiatives, noting the replicable and transportable approaches that can improve health outcomes at the community and individual levels, most notably racial and ethnic groups and sexual and gender minorities.
- Mandy Altman, Hepatitis Education Project
- Kelly Ducheny, Howard Brown Health
- DeMarc Hickson, Executive Director, Us Helping Us
- Murray Penner, Executive Director, Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) / U=U
- Dan Scales, Director of Collaborative Care Pharmacy at Vivent Health
HIV Prevention Institute, Part 2
“How for Now:” Overcoming Barriers and Routinizing HIV Self-Testing
Adapting to an ever-changing pandemic landscape has both created barriers and sparked innovation in the field of HIV testing. Programs have been forced to adapt in order to meet clients where they are by effectively updating and changing services based on the frequent shifts in national, state, and local COVID-19 protocols. Providers are tasked with effectively communicating these changes to their patients and promoting strategies to keep them engaged in care. This session will cover the shift from in-person testing to self-testing models, exploring successes, barriers, innovation, and routinizing HIV testing in this time.Adapting to an ever-changing pandemic landscape has both created barriers and sparked innovation in the field of HIV testing. Programs have been forced to adapt in order to meet clients where they are by effectively updating and changing services based on the frequent shifts in national, state, and local COVID-19 protocols. Providers are tasked with effectively communicating these changes to their patients and promoting strategies to keep them engaged in care. This session will cover the shift from in-person testing to self-testing models, exploring successes, barriers, innovation, and routinizing HIV testing in this time.
- Kate Curoe, Washington University in St. Louis CDC Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program
- Carla A. Mena, Hands United at Latino Commission on AIDS
- Nkechi Onyewuenyi, Patient educator at Legacy Community Health
- Daniela P. Simba, Hands United
- Javonte Williams, Philadelphia Department of Public Health
- Kevin Lawson, Sr. US Marketing Manager for OraSure Technologies Inc.
Fiscal Health Institute, Part 2
Identifying, Tracking, and Monitoring Ryan White Program Income to Enhance Patient Outcomes
Is your organization generating income from third party payors or the 340B pharmacy program and have a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program? This session will provide an overview of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) program income requirements; explain how to track and monitor program income; and explain how to effectively plan and budget program income for service expansion.
- Jana Collins, KADAP Income Reinvestment Program