Conference Agenda

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Opening Plenary


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.

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.

  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Harold J. Phillips, Director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

Featured Featured

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, HRSA/HIV/AIDS Bureau
  • Demetre Daskalakis, CDC / Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
  • James Macrae, HRSA / Bureau of Primary Health Care
  • Leandro Mena, CDC / Division of STD Prevention
  • Jonathan Mermin, CDC / National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

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, HealthHIV
  • Erin Starzyk, HealthHIV
  • Gerran Thomas, 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, HealthHIV
  • Cordella Lyon, Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas
  • Sohail Rana, Howard University
  • Brandon Wilson, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 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, 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, JSI
  • Gretchen Weiss, JSI

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Transgender Health


This plenary session will explore lessons learned, challenges and strategies for increased engagement within Transgender Communities to ensure retention in both treatment and prevention services.

  • Aryah Lester, Transgender Strategy Center
  • Zakia McKensey, Nationz Foundation
  • Diana Oliva, Gilead Sciences
  • Bamby Salcedo, [email protected] Coalition
  • Mimi Shelton, Destination Tomorrow
Featured Featured

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, Latino AIDS
  • Dazon Dixon Diallo, SisterLove
  • DeMarc Hickson, Us Helping Us
  • Kathie Hiers, AIDS Alabama
  • Tyler TerMeer, Cascade AIDS Project/Prism Health
  • Mojgan Zare, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

Hepatitis C/HIV/HCV Co-Infection Institute

SYNCing on Hepatitis C Elimination

This session will provide 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 will discuss key considerations for other organizations seeking to expand or initiate their own HCV elimination efforts locally.

  • Terry Kemp-Knick, Virginia Department of Health
  • Lesley S. Miller, Grady Liver Clinic
  • Thaddeus Pham, Hawaii 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.

  • Jon Appelbaum, Florida State University College of Medicine
  • Scott Bertani, HealthHIV
  • Donna Sweet, University of Kansas School of Medicine


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
  • Michele Lopez, GHMC
  • Val Wojciechowicz, 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, HealthHIV
  • Mauda Monger, My Brother's Keeper
  • Carl Schmid, 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
ViiV Healthcare: Our Goal — End the Epidemic
Since 2013, Rare Patient Voice has awarded patients and caregivers over $7,000,000!
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