Congress agrees to maintain funding for domestic HIV programs

“After House Republicans initially put at risk the nation’s progress in ending HIV, we are relieved that House and Senate congressional negotiators have agreed to maintain funding for domestic HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute.

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HIV+Hep estimates HIV cases averted & cost savings due to long-acting PrEP

“We must make sure that everyone with a reason to be on PrEP is able to access the medication best suited to their needs. With new long-acting PrEP, many people who have had a hard time adhering to a regimen of a daily pill now have another option to prevent HIV,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “And we now know that more cases of HIV can be averted and medical costs can be saved by gradually increasing the uptake of long-acting PrEP. This must be taken into account as we develop policies and programs regarding the use and coverage of PrEP.”

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House votes signal strong opposition to domestic HIV funding cuts

Recent votes by the U.S. House of Representatives that unsuccessfully sought to cut domestic HIV programs offer a clear signal that even a wide majority of the House reject domestic HIV funding cuts. Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to the Labor, HHS appropriation bill that would have eliminated the HHS Minority HIV/AIDS Fund by a vote of 109 to 324.  On that vote, more Republicans (110) voted against the amendment than for it. An amendment to cut AIDS research at the NIH was made in order by leadership but ultimately was never offered.

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New CDC PrEP data demonstrates importance of federal funding

“While the data demonstrate progress in PrEP usage, which will translate into fewer new HIV transmissions, the low usage of PrEP among the communities most impacted by HIV points to the need for increased and targeted federal resources,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “Unfortunately, House Republicans have proposed to cut $220 million from CDC’s HIV prevention program and completely eliminate HRSA’s $157 million PrEP program for community health centers. If these cuts were to be realized, instead of reporting on progress, the nation will be experiencing increased new HIV transmissions, which in the long run will cost us more.”

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Senate appropriators maintain funding for domestic HIV programs

“While disappointed that Congress will not be providing the necessary funding to really end HIV or hepatitis in the United States, given the severe budget constraints, what the Senate has proposed will allow existing programs to at least continue,” Carl Schmid said. “However, it is up to the entire Congress, both the House and the Senate, to be responsible and agree upon our federal spending levels. The choices are very clear.”

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