This year’s U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS (#2021USCHA) will honor Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) for her decades-long commitment to fighting the epidemic. The virtual conference takes place December 2 and 3, Thursday and Friday, and includes 140 workshops in addition to panel discussions and speeches. It’s organized by NMAC, which battles the HIV epidemic through the lens of race.

The congresswoman from San Francisco is one of several national leaders scheduled to make remarks during the conference’s opening plenary, titled “Federal Perspectives on HIV in the COVID Era.” Joining Pelosi will be keynote speaker Anthony Fauci, MD, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Given everything that is happening in Washington, we expected Speaker Pelosi to cancel her participation at this year’s conference. Not our speaker!” said NMAC executive director Paul Kawata in an emailed statement about USCHA. “I wish I could say that her participation was because of NMAC,” he added, “but the reality is that Speaker Pelosi came to Washington to fight AIDS on behalf of her constituents. She is a long-term friend to the community. She shows up even when it would be perfectly understandable to cancel.”

Also during the opening plenary, Harold Phillips, who leads the Office of National AIDS Policy, and Admiral Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, will speak about the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which is scheduled to be released World AIDS Day, December 1, and the U.S Ending the HIV Epidemic plan. In addition, the U.S. People Living With HIV Caucus will address the importance of focusing on quality of life.

You can read more details about the conference agenda on, which includes an orientation video and links to poster presentations and workshops. You can also read and download the USCHA program. According to the website, the other plenaries include:

Self, Identity and Culture: How Culture and Identity Shape and Inform Each Other
This plenary, held December 2, is produced by ViiV Healthcare and moderated by Darnell Moore, director of inclusion and strategy for content and marketing at Netflix.


Voices of Resilience: Forging Progress and Urgency in Challenging Times
Spearheaded by Gilead Sciences and moderated by Human Rights Campaign staffer Tori Cooper, the program will feature grassroots advocates working in the South to address barriers to helping end the HIV epidemic, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A panel discussion will explore how these advocates are helping forge progress through innovation and resilience in challenging times.


Closing Plenary: Foundation Stones to Building the EHE [Ending the HIV Epidemic] Effort in Indian Country
This session will highlight the work of those addressing HIV and COVID in Indian Country and rural states and among Alaska Natives with limited infrastructure. This plenary addresses these challenges and provides innovative solutions by Indian Country, making the case to support Native HIV care by providing essential building blocks.

Other notable events during #2021USCHA include a screening of the documentary Fauci on December 2 as well as a session on December 3 by the Prevention Access Campaign—the group behind the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable movement—about its initiative “The Journey to 400,000: Leaving No One Behind.”

And everyone, whether registered for USCHA or not, is invited to join the second annual NMAC Capitol Hill Champions Awards for Minority Health, held at 7 p.m. ET, Tuesday, November 30. NMAC will honor Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge with the Elijah Cummings Award for Minority Health Equality, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters will receive the John Lewis Good Trouble Award. District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will also speak. You can register to watch the awards ceremony live, but NMAC will post a recording later.

In related news, be sure to read the recent POZ Q&A with Harold Phillips and the regular blog posts by NMAC’s Paul Kawata.