Preventive services covered by private insurance plans without cost- sharing, such as HIV testing, hepatitis B and C testing, and PrEP, are all critical and well-established public health preventive services that must continue. To single out PrEP, which are FDA approved drugs that effectively prevent HIV, and conclude that its coverage violates the religious freedom of certain individuals, is plain wrong, highly discriminatory, and impedes the public health of our nation. PrEP is not just for gay men, but for anyone who may be at risk of HIV.
The leadership of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing to significantly increase funding to continue to ramp up efforts to end HIV in the United States. The Senate bills include increased funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative by at least $240 million for domestic HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and research programs. While it is not as much as proposed in President Biden’s budget, in some instances it is more than what was proposed by the House.
The U.S. House of Representatives Labor, HHS Appropriations Subcommittee is proposing to increase funding to continue to ramp up efforts to end HIV in the United States. However, it fails to include a national program to increase access to PrEP, which are medications that prevent HIV. In addition to an increase of $225 million for domestic HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs as part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, the FY23 Labor, HHS appropriations bill is proposing a $75 million increase to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and $200 million more for NIH AIDS Research.
Biden Budget Boosts Domestic HIV Funding & Proposes Nationwide PrEP Delivery Program: CDC Hepatitis Program Receives Increase
President Biden is proposing an increase of $377 million for the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative for a total of $850 million for efforts to end HIV by 2030. Additionally, in response to the HIV community and several members of Congress’ request to develop a program to increase access to PrEP, which are medications that prevent HIV, the president’s budget calls for the creation of an ambitious ten-year $9.8 billion nationwide PrEP delivery program. The budget includes numerous other program increases, including a bump of $13.5 million for the CDC’s hepatitis division.
Congressional funding slows for ending HIV initiative: Hepatitis programs left with a minimal increase
In the omnibus appropriations bill released today, Congress has significantly slowed the increase of funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative and put in jeopardy efforts to end HIV by 2030. Instead of supporting an increase of $245 million, as was proposed in President Biden’s budget and passed by the House and proposed by Senate Democratic leaders, the final bill allocates an increase of only $70 million for HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and research programs for those jurisdictions most impacted by HIV.