Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The 2014 Annual Meetings of Beyond AIDS and of the Beyond AIDS Foundation will be held on Sunday, October 19. The physical hub of the meeting will be at the Club Quarters Hotel at 839 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006, and we welcome members who cannot attend that in person to phone in for conference call participation. The time will be 4:00-7:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Pacific. The meeting is open to all members. Nonmembers will need to be specially invited, so please first write to info@beyondaids.org to express interest and check on available space.
Complete information, including "handouts" and the phone number and code to use when calling in, will be sent to those who RSVP about their interest. Write to info@beyondaids.org.
This has been an active year for Beyond AIDS, and we look forward to telling you all about it. Three California bills that we have supported passed both houses of the legislature, have been signed by the Governor. The Foundation has continued its research and fellowship programs. 
Our Scientific Committee is putting the finishing touches on important recommendations for changes in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which will be presented to the Foundation Board at our meeting. The following morning, a Beyond AIDS leadership delegation has an appointment with key HIV/AIDS policy leaders of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to present these recommendations. Thus, we intend to make maximum use of our presence in Washington to influence policy. If Beyond AIDS recommendations are adopted, the U.S. can finally drive down the U.S. epidemic; if not, there may be no end in sight to this scourge.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


(Updated at end of legislative session, November 2014)

Beyond AIDS supported four California bills in the 2014 legislature.

Assembly Bill 966 (Bonta): This is a simplification of 2013’s AB 999, to assure that condoms are eventually provided in California’s prisons. Governor Brown vetoed that bill, and former Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed two similar bills during his term. After Schwarzenegger’s second veto, he established a pilot program at one prison that proved to be very successful. Brown’s staff claims that his veto was because he already has the authority to do this, just as Schwarzenegger did at the one prison. So rather than presume to establish new authority for this on the part of the Administration, the new bill merely requires a plan to provide condoms to all the prisons within five years.

Outcome: Bill was passed by Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brown. Click here for the final text of the bill.

Assembly Bill 1576 (Hall): This was another attempt to require adult film actors to use condoms, and for producers to use other infection control precautions. Last year's California bills AB 640 and the subsequent AB 332, both on condoms and other infection control measures for the adult film industry, failed to pass. The same author, Assembly Member Hall, with the same sponsor, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, have introduced this bill as a new, simpler version. The bill requires both condoms and STD testing every 2 weeks for performers, without specifying what tests will be done for which diseases. It also makes note of the fact that current law already requires an exposure control plan for any work situation in which there may be exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials, and that this bill  makes specific requirements for such plans for adult film employers. Cal-OSHA has failed to act in over 3 and a half years, and its draft regulations don't include testing.

Outcome: Bill did not pass.

AB 1898 (Brown): This will add to the HIV co-infections that would be reportable and could be discussed among local and state public health officials and with the patient's healthcare provider. Current law (Section 121025 of the Health and Safety Code) permits this only apply for tuberculosis and a few unspecified STDs (syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia). This bill adds hepatitis B and C, and meningococcal infections, occurring in patients who also have HIV. The bill is sponsored by the Health Officers Association of California.

Outcome: Bill was passed by Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brown. Click here for the final text of the bill.

AB 336 (Ammiano): This 2013 bill will make it more difficult for prosecutors to use the possession of condoms as evidence in prostitution cases. It did not make progress due to objections from prosecutors when it was worded more strongly that year, and was revived in 2014 with compromise wording. Naturally, public health advocates want to encourage sex workers to use condoms, but if possession increases their chances of jail time, that has a chilling effect on prevention efforts. The bill requires a hearing in judge's chambers on the issue of use of this evidence before it can be presented openly in court.

Outcome: Bill was passed by Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brown. Click here for the final text of the bill.