Action Link

A News Service of The AIDS Institute

In This Issue
Message from the E.D.
Affordable Care Act
Federal Policy Report
Florida Policy Report
CBA Network Report
Education Report
Research Report
Communications Report
What is TAI?
Support Our Work
Upcoming Events
Conference Resources
Inside the Next Issue
Newsletter Feedback
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June 2012
TAI Logo with Mission

Welcome to Action Link - your quarterly newsletter for HIV/AIDS public policy, research, advocacy and education. We encourage you to read further and learn more about The AIDS Institute's programs, services, and resources.
Message from the Executive Director

AIDS Alliance We are excited to announce a new partnership between AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families and The AIDS Institute. As of June 1, 2012, the new home of AIDS Alliance is with The AIDS Institute under the leadership of Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.  AIDS Alliance, founded in 1994, will continue and expand its advocacy and program work in its new home. Carole Treston will be working with The AIDS Institute over the coming months to ensure continuity of advocacy and program services.  Combining administrative operations will maximize and increase the resources dedicated to programs and services.

Michael Ruppal


Together, these two historic organizations forge a new alliance that will have an even greater impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and will also maximize organizational effectiveness and efficiency for women, infants, children and youth, as well as our donors and funders.


Cover Story


Our Position:
The AIDS Institute strongly supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The full implementation of this act will profoundly help the prevention of HIV and the care of those in our country living with HIV/AIDS.

Click on these links to learn more about:

Overviews of ACA:
Video: Health Reform Hits Main Street - Spanish

The United States Supreme Court

The Affordable Care Act promises to expand life-saving access to care and prevention for people living with and at risk of HIV, but this historic expansion is being threatened in the U.S. Supreme Court. Several states have filed suit against the federal government claiming that parts of the law are unconstitutional. If they win, it will mean that millions of Americans will once again be denied their human right to health and hundreds of thousands of people living with HIV will continue to slip through the cracks in our health care system.
Because of the importance of this legislation to people living with HIV, the following organizations filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Affordable Care Act:

Guide to Supreme Court's Review of 2010 Health Care Reform Law  

ABA Supreme Court Decision Predictions  
Additional Supreme Court Case and Briefs Information 


Essential Health Benefits: 

More Than 2,700 Advocates Call On HHS to Ensure Essential Benefits  

Patient Groups Seek Delay On 'Essential Benefit' Rules
Letter to HHS Calling for an Extension of the Comment Period

Additional EHB Information

Medicaid Final Rulings

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Medicaid Information 

Federal Policy Report
Opportunities to Increase HIV Testing As More Payers Cover Costs

HIV Testing Vials

Washington DC - As National HIV Testing Day is observed on June 27th, The AIDS Institute would like to highlight that there are more opportunities than ever for HIV testing to be paid for by third party payers, and with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there will be even more in the very near future.
Click Here to read full article. 


Additional TAI Articles for this Past Quarter    

Senate Maintains Commitment to Domestic HIV/AIDS Programs  

President's Budget Maintains Strong Commitment to HIV/AIDS Programs 

Public Comment Before the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS  

TAI Statement on FY13 HIV Appropriations 




For more information, please visit us at, or contact Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director and Public Policy Director at, 202-835-8373. 

Florida Policy Report
Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network (FHAAN)

The AIDS Institute's Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network (FHAAN), is the statewide FHAAN Logoeffort comprised of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA's), community advocates, HIV/AIDS and industry professionals, and anyone wanting to be involved to coordinate HIV advocacy efforts for all Floridians living with HIV and AIDS.
FHAAN's mission is to advocate for statewide HIV/AIDS resources including education, policies, programs, funding and legislation.

To read the FHAAN Monthly Newsletters, please Click Here.

For more information, please visit us at, or contact Ted Howard, FHAAN Administrator at, 813-258-5929.
CBA Network Report
CDCThe AIDS Institute's CBA program exists to strengthen consumer access to and use of CBA services for HIV Prevention. The program improves the effectiveness of HIV prevention services by creating and sustaining an engaged network of CBA consumers that expresses consumer's needs and concerns to CBA providers and funders, educates consumers about CBA and how to access it, and reduces the stigma related to seeking CBA.

To read the CBA Network Link quarterly newsletters, please Click Here

For more information, please visit us at:, or contact  Michelle Scavnicky, CBA Network Director at, 813-258-5929. 
Education Report

AIDS 101 

AIDS 101 provides more information about HIV and AIDS, a glossary of terms, and other facts about testing and prevention.


HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness 

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness (NHAAA) is a national campaign highlighting the complex issues related to HIV prevention, care and treatment for aging populations in the United States.


National Health Awareness Observances 

Resource listing of the national health awareness days throughout the year. Includes title, month, day, summary and web links/contact information. 



Use our Resources to Find HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care information. 




For more information, please visit us at, or contact Michelle Scavnicky, Director of Education at, 813-258-5929. 

Research Report
The Florida Consortium for HIV/AIDS Research (FCHAR)
The AIDS Institute's Florida Consortium for HIV/AIDS Research (FCHAR) is an action and advocacy group of HIV researchers statewide in Florida.  The Consortium was created to bring more HIV research resources to Florida and advance the body of knowledge about all aspects of HIV prevention, care and treatment.  There is a focus on promoting and arranging Inter-institutional collaboration.  FCHAR members also educate Public Health individuals and potential study participants about the nature of the three types of HIV studies: behavioral/epidemiologic, clinical trials and basic science/virology/vaccine development.
Read entire article by clicking here

To read the Research Link quarterly newsletters, please Click Here.

For more information, please visit us at:, or contact Spencer Lieb, Research Coordinator at, 850-329-7021.
Communications Report
Please visit our Media section for access to previous Action Link newsletters, as well as other important communications resources pertaining to our work:
Web and Social Media
TAI Twitter 
TAI YouTube
TAI Email Ted Howard Pic

For more information, please visit us at
TAI Media, or contact Ted Howard, Communications Coordinator at, 813-258-5929. 
What is The AIDS Institute?
The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization who's mission is to promote action for social change through public policy, research, advocacy and education.
TAI Logo (Color)
The AIDS Institute (TAI) began as a grass roots community mobilization effort in the mid 1980s. In 1992, this advocacy network became incorporated as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Over the years, The AIDS Institute has expanded its vision to become a leading national nonprofit AIDS agency with offices in Tampa, Florida and Washington, DC. Affiliated with the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, The AIDS Institute remains focused on HIV/AIDS while incorporating work on related healthcare issues, including Hepatitis.

The AIDS Institute has several programs that comprise a multifaceted approach to combatting HIV/AIDS.  These programs include: Public Policy Research; Government Affairs and Advocacy, Global Advocacy, Education, Capacity Building Assistance, State Policy Programs, National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness, Communications, and HIV/AIDS Research.

For more information, please Visit Us at:, or contact us at, 813-258-5929.
  • Public Policy Research
  • Government Affairs and Advocacy
  • Global Advocacy
  • Education
  • Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program
  • State Policy Program
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness
  • Communications
  • HIV/AIDS Research
Board of Directors and Advisory Board 

Board of Directors 

Jonathon David Berliner, Secretary - Honolulu, HI

Alicia N. Bunton - Chicago, IL
Dr. Cesar A. Caceres, Immediate Past President - Washington, DC
Selvy E. Hall - Pontiac, MI
Dr. Helena A. Kwakwa - Philadelphia, PA
Marylin Merida, President - Tampa, FL
David Miller - Bronx, NY
Peter L. Ralin, At Large Member - Denver, CO
David A. Reznik, D.D.S. - Atlanta, GA
The Reverend Edwin Sanders - Nashville, TN
William Schuyler - Alexandria, VA
Lew Sibert, Treasurer - Tampa, FL
Ivy Turnbull, Vice-President - Brooklyn, NY  

Board Advisors

Ex-Officio Member: Michael Ruppal, Executive Director - Tampa, FL
Deloris Dockrey - New Brunswick, NJ
Dr. David Holtgrave - Baltimore, MD
Jeanne White-Ginder - Leesburg, FL

Staff, Interns and Volunteers
Terrence Calhoun, Director of Conferences and Trainings
Lindsey Dawson
, Public Policy Associate
Ted Howard
, Communications Coordinator
Spencer Lieb
, HIV/AIDS Research Coordinator
Denise Ruppal
, Director of Finance and Administration
Michael Ruppal
, Executive Director
Michelle Scavnicky
, Director of Education
Carl Schmid
, Deputy Executive Director
Bridget Verrette
, Public Policy Associate

For more information about our staff, including phone numbers, email addresses and photos, please Click Here. 

Recent Interns  
Markham Bradburn

Markham Bradburn

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL


Benita working 



Benita Chilampath

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL 







Cory Combs

James Madison University   

Washington, DC   






Spring 2012 MS Interns


Lynea Bach

University of South Florida

Lauren Woodward

University of South Florida

Nicki Colbourne
Capella University


Tampa, FL






For profiles of our previous Interns, please Click Here.

For more information about our Internship program, please Click Here.



Jonathan Brantley (MD) - Web Design
Dawn Hunter (FL) - Information Technology
Thais Iznaga
(FL) - Administration
Layne Kinney (GA) - FHAAN
Mark Puskarich (FL) - Online Marketing

For more information about our Volunteer program, please Click Here.
Support Our Work
Donations can be made easily and securely by any of these 3 ways:

1. Click Here to complete our Credit Card Authorization Form! 

2. Online by clicking on this button: 

3. Mail your check payable to "The AIDS Institute"
17 Davis Boulevard, Suite 403
Tampa, Florida 33606
Upcoming Events
Calendar of Events:
Conference Resources 
  • HIV Prevention Leadership Summit 2010 
  • National HIV Prevention Conference Information: 2009, 2011 
  • Regional Patient Advocacy Leaders Summit 2012 
  • United States Conference on AIDS 20102011 
Inside the Next Issue  

 The AIDS Institute Celebrates our 20th Anniversary! 

Newsletter Feedback 
Please let us know what you think of our newsletter.
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Michael Ruppal's Signature
Michael Ruppal, Executive Director
The AIDS Institute