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.

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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.

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From the Office of Sen. Tina Smith: U.S. Senator Tina Smith & U.S. Representative Adam Schiff introduce bill to expand access to lifesaving HIV prevention drugs

“The PrEP Access and Coverage Act” would help fill that void by providing grants to states, community-based organizations, community health centers, and others to establish and support PrEP programs. Not only would these programs provide PrEP and associated medical services, but also much needed community and provider outreach programs.

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From the office of Rep. Adam Schiff: Schiff, Smith introduce bill to expand access to lifesaving HIV prevention drugs

“HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute fully supports the PrEP Access and Coverage Act of 2021 and urges Congress to swiftly pass it. It addresses many of the coverage and affordability issues responsible for low uptake of PrEP and will be essential as new PrEP drugs become available. While there are government programs for people living with HIV and other prevention programs, there isn’t a comprehensive nationwide program for PrEP,” said Carl Schmid, Executive Director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute.

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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 on December 1st, despite all the recent setbacks due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, there is hope on the horizon for ending HIV in the United States,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “President Biden is set to release 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. However, for these well-intentioned plans to be implemented, much work still needs to occur.”

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