Despite the Republican-led success against HIV, some House Republicans have been considering a spending bill that would cut funding for HIV prevention and treatment. Such cuts would not only lead to more preventable infections and deaths — they’d result in more long-term spending by American taxpayers. We have the tools to end HIV. We must not abandon our efforts nor the people and communities most impacted by this potentially deadly infectious disease.
It is possible to end HIV in the United States within the next decade – lawmakers must make it a reality
We believe congressional authorization for a new government program is unlikely in the near term, given the program’s price tag and its reliance on a centralized mechanism for purchasing drugs and laboratory services.
A more realistic approach, given these constraints, is for Congress to increase funding at the CDC along with targeted grants to community health centers and Ryan White Program clinics, particularly those that can most effectively increase PrEP uptake among Blacks and Latinos and in the South. It’s possible to end HIV in the United States within the next decade. Lawmakers must act to make it a reality.
Over the next few months, congressional appropriation committee leaders will have to hash out spending levels for individual government programs. President Joe Biden’s budget takes an enormous step toward meeting the nation’s goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030 through substantially increasing funding for HIV treatment and prevention programs. Some in Congress seem set on slashing spending. And that means domestic HIV funding could be on the chopping block. That’s a tragedy—one that could jeopardize our progress in the fight against the virus.
Among Americans who take prescription drugs, a quarter struggle to afford their medication. For those who are in poor health or have low incomes, the portion is even higher. These days, the rising cost of everyday goods and services is forcing more people to face difficult decisions and ask themselves: How can I pay for utilities, the groceries, or the medicine that’s keeping me alive? Now imagine that someone offers you financial assistance for the express purpose of paying for your medicine—problem apparently solved. But in a cruel twist, your health insurer pockets that assistance, without counting it toward your annual deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. That’s why the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, the Diabetes Leadership Council, and the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition filed suit in federal court, challenging the Trump-era federal government rule that allows insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to carry out this harmful practice.
Imagine if Congress, with one simple action, could help end a 40-year-old epidemic, erase some of the racial inequities in healthcare, and save money in the process. That may sound too good to be true. But lawmakers can do it if they fund expanding access programs to a highly effective HIV drug in the 2023 spending bill.