Institute on HIV and Employment for USCA 2015

An energized group of 90 participate in the full-day Institute on HIV & Employment presented in Washington, DC on Sept. 9, 2015 by the National Working Positive Coalition

An exciting group of speakers, panelists and moderators discussed a range of key topics at the Institute on HIV & Employment, convened by the National Working Positive Coalition as a pre-conference event of the 2015 U.S. Conference on AIDS. Hosted by the Human Rights Campaign in the HRC Equality Forum, 90 participants representing a wide spectrum of expertise energized the Institute. Douglas Brooks, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy provided opening comments, helping kick-off the meeting focused on understanding and addressing employment needs of people living with or at greater risk for HIV as key social and economic determinants important to achieving the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020.


NWPC Day of Trainings in Central New York

The NWPC presented a day of trainings on April 24, 2015 in Syracuse, NY, "Increasing Access to Employment Services for People Living with HIV." Hosted by the SUNY Upstate Medical University Immune Health Services Consumer Advisory Board, the event consisted of a morning training for service providers, and an afternoon training for people living with HIV.


Mark Misrok, President of the NWPC Board of Directors, lead the training.

Guest speakers included:

Topics included:

114 Organizations Endorse NWPC Letter to RSA

A letter from the National Working Positive Coalition, endorsed by 114 organizations, was sent to the Rehabilitation Services Administration in support of retaining high standards for the vocational rehabilitation counseling workforce to meet the employment and vocational rehabilitation needs of eligible individuals with disabilities, including people living with HIV.

In the letter sent February 25, 2015, the National Working Positive Coalition is partnering with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) to advocate for the regulations now being developed to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to maintain standards for a qualified and effective vocational rehabilitation counseling workforce.

Many people living with HIV, and other disabilities, need to be able to access effective vocational rehabilitation services to achieve their goals for employment. The state-federal vocational rehabilitation services system is the most comprehensive employment resource for people with disabilities. Services include access to benefits counseling, comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine skills, interests, and abilities, as well as case management, vocational counseling, employment services, assistance with finding and keeping a job, and on the job and other training/education.

Rehabilitation counselors can also authorize medical referrals, job training, and supportive rehabilitation services, including mental health counseling, if these services will remove barriers to employment. Individuals with disabilities, including people living with HIV, often face significant barriers to employment including dealing with complex medical and psychological aspects of their diagnosis as well as social, educational, financial, legal, and vocational factors that can limit their ability to achieve viable employment outcomes that ensure continued access to care and improved economic and health outcomes.

This letter calls for regulations to be written based on the understanding that vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors need to be appropriately trained to adequately address the complex and interconnected issues of individuals with disabilities, including people living with HIV.

Click here to read the letter and a list of the endorsing organizations.

Resources for People With HIV Considering Employment

The following is excerpted from TheBody.com. Click here to read the complete article.

Mark Misrok is proof of the promise of vocational rehabilitation for people living with HIV in the U.S. He started out as a client and volunteer at the Positive Resource Center in San Francisco in 1992 -- and three years later became its program director.

Today, as president of the National Working Positive Coalition board of directors, Misrok believes that "we cannot bring an end to AIDS without understanding and addressing the total person. We can't avoid responding to the social and economic determinants that powerfully influence health and prevention outcomes. And that includes addressing poverty, social marginalization, unemployment and underemployment."

Misrok spoke with TheBody.com about the realities and resources for people with HIV considering the worlds of work and benefits.

Click here to read the complete article.

Join the PLHIV Economic Empowerment Campaign

A Time for Change, A Time for Action

The HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA), National Working Positive Coalition and Positive Women’s Network - USA (PWN–USA) are uniting to act for economic empowerment by and for people living with HIV.

Together, we are changing the conversation – and the policies – of the HIV community from poverty to income, and from economic instability to security and independence.

Douglas Brooks, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), must take immediate action to:

Click here to learn more or click here to join us now!

HIV Economic Empowerment Campaign

Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA)

NWPC presents on HIV and employment for PACHA

The NWPC participated in the meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) on February 28, 2014, invited to present a panel on HIV/AIDS and employment by the PACHA Disparities Subcommittee. Douglas Brooks, co-chair of the Subcommittee, served as moderator of the panel, which consisted of NWPC board members Dr. Liza Conyers, Associate Professor at Penn State University, and Chair of the NWPC Research Working Group, April Watkins, Assistant Director of Workforce Development at GMHC, and Mark Misrok, NWPC board president.

Dr. Conyers delivered this overview of research findings related to HIV and employment issues to help set the context for PACHA’s discussion and consideration of needed public policy initiatives to effectively implement the employment provisions of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the HIV Care Continuum Initiative.

Housing, Food and Nutrition, and Employment

Focus of New Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) Structural Interventions Work Group

The inaugural meeting of the Structural Interventions Work Group of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) was held on April 24, 2014. This meeting marked the first joint national policy and advocacy effort among HIV housing, food and nutrition, and employment organizations working together to target the social and economic determinants of health important to HIV health and prevention outcomes in the U.S. National Working Positive Coalition (NWPC) board members and partners participate in FAPP and in its newly-formed Structural Interventions Work Group in support of the development of HIV/AIDS policy recommendations informed by employment-related needs of people living with HIV, research findings and effective service practices.

FAPP is a national coalition of local, regional, and national organizations advocating for progressive federal HIV/AIDS legislation and policy. Much of FAPP’s policy and advocacy work is accomplished through six FAPP-affiliated working groups: AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition, HIV Health Care Access Working Group, HIV Housing Working Group, HIV Prevention Action Committee, Research Working Group, and Ryan White Work Group.

Recently, the co-chairs of the Housing Working Group approached leaders in the fields of Food and Nutrition (FNS) and Employment to suggest an expanded working group focused together on addressing the structural interventions needed to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to achieve better health outcomes for those living with HIV/AIDS. After discussions with colleagues, the three groups decided to launch the Structural Interventions Working Group of FAPP.

Click here for more information about FAPP.

For more information about the Structural Interventions Work Group of FAPP, contact Mark Misrok, President of the NWPC Board of Directors.

Positive Futures 2014

On Friday, June 6, 2014, AIDS Connecticut and the National Working Positive Coalition presented Positive Futures 2014, a full-day conference on HIV, employment and economic empowerment. Nearly 100 people gathered to learn from and network with experts from around the country. Click on the links below to view presentations from some of the workshops at the conference.

USCA 2013: Symposium on HIV/AIDS & Employment

On Monday, September 9, 2013, the National Working Positive Coalition, the CHANGE Coalition & the National Minority AIDS Council presented a Symposium on HIV/AIDS and Employment as part of the U.S. Conference on AIDS in New Orleans.

Attendees were encouraged to participate in the Symposium on HIV/AIDS and Employment to:


HIV and Employment Highlighted at National Rehabilitation Association Conference

Dr. Liza Conyers and Mark Misrok of NWPC, together with Dylan Orr from the Dept. of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, presented on HIV/AIDS and employment at the 2013 Annual National Rehabilitation Association Training Conference on August 20. Presentations from the workshop, titled, "Employment and Vocational Rehabilitation Integrated in HIV/AIDS Health Care and Prevention: Targeted Community-Based, Federal and Research Initiatives," can be viewed here:

Alliance Agreement Signing

Alliance Agreement with Dept. of Labor and NWPC

An Alliance Agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the National Working Positive Coalition for People Living with HIV/AIDS, signed on Monday, June 17, 2013, was highlighted in the weekly DOL News Brief.

“An alliance between the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the National Working Positive Coalition will focus on helping people living with HIV/AIDS. The alliance will emphasize reducing stigma and discrimination, cultivating training and employment opportunities, and improving financial well-being. On June 17, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez and NWPC President Mark Misrok signed a formal alliance agreement, continuing a collaboration that began two years ago. The organizations joined forces in 2011, during planning for the first-ever HIV/AIDS Employment Roundtable, which ODEP convened. ‘NWPC is a wonderful partner. I am so pleased that we are formalizing our relationship to expand the great work we have already begun,’ said Martinez.”

Click here to view ODEP’s HIV/AIDS website.

Click here to view ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment.

Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS Resources

New Tools on Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS Offered by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

ODEP has developed a suite of Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS resources to assist individuals, employers and service providers understand related issues: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/HIVAIDS/

Recommendation 200: The First International Labor Standard on HIV and AIDS

ILO AIDS: The International Labour Organization Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work

"On 17 June 2010, governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations (ILO constituents) made history at the 99th International Labour Conference in adopting, by an overwhelming majority, the first international human rights instrument to focus explicitly on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work. The Recommendation marks a new milestone in the international response to the pandemic, calling for the World of Work to play a significant role in preventing HIV transmission, protecting human rights at work and mitigating the impact of the pandemic at work, on local communities and the national economies."

Recommendation 200 (English) | Recommendation 200 (Spanish)

"…all of us can play a vital role in putting a stop to HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the workplace."

HIV and the World of Work: Why and How We Should All Advocate for the Implementation of the ILO Recommendation on HIV and the Workplace

Join our Coalition...

NWPC is interested in expanding our network. If you would like to join our coalition, click here for information.

For World AIDS Day 2011...

Let’s remember those we’ve lost, remember those who continue to struggle, and remember those who have fought hard, and those now in the fight. Let’s appreciate the progress we’ve made, and never lose sight of the work still undone. Click here for encouragement on World AIDS Day, from Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Illegal Exclusion of Individuals with HIV/AIDS

The U.S. Department of Justice has sent letters to the attorneys general of all 50 states and U.S. territories asking for their help in addressing the illegal exclusion of individuals with HIV/AIDS from occupational training and state licensing. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects persons living with HIV/AIDS. Learn more by reading these Questions and Answers.


ADAThe U.S. Dept. of Justice has a new section on its ADA website to help combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.



Positive FuturesClick here for Power Point presentations from the past two Positive Futures conferences hosted by NWPC.



National HIV/AIDS StrategyClick here to view the White House Office of National AIDS Policy's National AIDS Strategy Report released in July 2010.



Randy AllgaierNWPC mourns the loss of Randy Allgaier, an irreplaceable leader, mentor and advocate. Click here to read a tribute to Randy.



Positive Voices in AmericaClick here to read HIV-Positive Voices in America, a report of a joint project by the CAEAR Coalition and NAPWA.