Hopeful signs of progress in ending HIV in the United States: New Biden strategic plan & Congressional bills to establish national PrEP programs

“As we mark World AIDS Day, there is hope on the horizon for ending HIV in the United States. President Biden is releasing an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan and several bills have been or are about to be introduced in Congress to establish a national PrEP program to prevent HIV. Additionally, Congress is poised to increase funding for domestic HIV programs for the year ahead. Taken together, these are hopeful signs.”

We can end hepatitis C. Why aren’t we?

We have the tools to eliminate hepatitis C. We even have a Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan developed by the HHS that provides a roadmap to eliminate hepatitis. To our great shame, we have not dedicated sufficient resources to implement it. The White House and Congress must no longer turn a blind eye to the suffering of people living with hepatitis C. We must commit the resources necessary to end the hepatitis C epidemic.

Biden budget proposes increased funding for ending HIV

As the world marked the 40th anniversary of the CDC’s first reporting on what we now know to be AIDS, President Joe Biden proposed in his budget to continue to ramp up efforts to finally end HIV in the United States. In addition to the increase of $267 million for domestic HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, which was announced as part of the preliminary budget, Biden proposed a $46 million increase to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs and $20 million for HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.

House Supports Significant Funding Increases for Domestic HIV Programs--Minimal Increase for Hepatitis Programs

The US House of Representatives is proposing to significantly increase funding to continue to ramp up efforts to end HIV in the United States. In addition to an increase of $245 million for domestic HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, which matches the amount proposed in President Joe Biden’s budget, the Appropriations Committee in its FY22 Labor, HHS appropriations bill is proposing an $146 million increase to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, (+$100 million over Biden’s budget) and $190 million more for NIH AIDS Research that was not included in the president’s budget. The House is only including an increase of $5 million for CDC’s hepatitis division for a total of $44.5 million.

Federal Government Issues Guidance to Insurers on Coverage of HIV Prevention Drugs

The federal government issued guidance to insurers to remind them of their obligation to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which are drugs that prevent HIV, at no cost to their beneficiaries. The guidance, in the form of an FAQ, also clarifies that associated services with PrEP, such as provider visits and HIV, hepatitis, and STD testing along with other laboratory tests, must also be covered with no patient cost-sharing.

124 patient groups urge Biden administration to improve prescription drug affordability

The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute and American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, in collaboration with 122 other patient and provider organizations, delivered a sign-on letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra that urges HHS and the Biden administration to enact policies and protections that improve prescription drug affordability for the American people.

Who We Are

Monitors policies that impact the prevention and treatment of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other health conditions in the United States.

Communicates with members of the HIV, hepatitis, and other patient group communities on key policy issues that impact their access to healthcare.

Educates policymakers and members of the media about efforts to end both HIV and hepatitis in the United States and to improve access to quality and affordable healthcare for people with or at risk of serious or chronic health conditions.

Causes We Care About, and So Should You!

HIV

Promote necessary funding, programs, and policies to end the HIV epidemic in the United States

HEPATITIS

Promote necessary funding, programs, and policies to end viral hepatitis in the United States

HEALTHCARE ACCESS

Promote necessary funding, programs, and policies to end viral hepatitis in the United States

Facebook posts by @HIV+Hep

Tweets by @HIV+Hep

@HIVHep thanks members of Congress for introducing the “ #PrEP Assistance Program Act” & the “ #PrEP Access and Coverage Act” and urges more members to cosponsor them in order to build support for these efforts to prevent #HIV: https://t.co/qfYpnJ4krE. https://t.co/4YPT1goJXn HIVHep photo
On @CMSGov’s release of the 2023 NBPP rule, @HIVHep’s Carl Schmid: “CMS sided w/ the powerful insurers & PBMs again by allowing them to collect #copay assistance & not count it towards #patient cost-sharing, thus ↑ the $$ #patients pay for their #Rx”: https://t.co/wqNKQ91bkn. https://t.co/Gel1LhG3OA HIVHep photo
@HIVHep’s Carl Schmid writes in the @sfexaminer that the @POTUS can protect #patients from facing huge out-of-pocket #Rx expenses by making insurers count drug manufacturer copay assistance toward out-of-pocket expenses: https://t.co/SM7d67MBEu. https://t.co/fMYPFlflRj HIVHep photo
@HIVHep’s Carl Schmid writes in @pozmagazine: “2021 was a year of #HIV progress; now let’s focus on #PrEP access . . . . 2 bills in Congress will establish #PrEP progs to prevent HIV. They’re needed to address racial & ethnic disparities in the epidemic”: https://t.co/P9BjSqaSjJ. https://t.co/PXmvAAMANk HIVHep photo
@HIVHep & @AutoimmuneAssoc are asking patient groups to sign a letter commenting in support of proposed @CMSGov rule that requires #insurers to offer standard plan options on the exchange that use reasonable copays for #Rxs to improve affordability: https://t.co/EkyypLRyNC. https://t.co/Z6XTnUjjWy HIVHep photo
From @KFF 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey ( https://t.co/iQMpFsoAIS): almost 1 in 4 employers don’t count copay assistance for #Rx towards a beneficiary’s out-of-pocket expenses. The Biden admin can stop this cruel practice in a proposed rule currently pending at OMB. https://t.co/lilW8W6rqJ HIVHep photo

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