Biden budget boosts domestic HIV funding & proposes PrEP & Hepatitis C programs
Congress Must Prioritize Programs to End Costly Infectious Diseases
Washington DC… President Biden has proposed to significantly increase the federal resources necessary to end both HIV and hepatitis C in the United States as part of his FY2024 budget proposal. For the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, which was begun by President Trump, he is proposing an increase of $313 million for a total of $850 million to accelerate efforts to end HIV by 2030. Additionally, the president is proposing two new ambitious mandatory spending programs. One would increase access to PrEP, which are medications that prevent HIV; while the other seeks to eliminate hepatitis C, which can be cured with daily oral medications in as little as 8-12 weeks.
“President Biden’s budget is yet another demonstration of his leadership in ending HIV. He recognizes the historic role the federal government must play, and the investments needed to end infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C,” commented Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “Now, it is essential that Congress works together to ensure it maintains the federal government’s commitment to ending HIV and at the same time, invests the necessary resources to end hepatitis. We also must guard against any erosion in funding of these programs, as some have proposed,” continued Schmid.
“Authorizing any new government program by the Congress will take time and stakeholder consensus. We look forward to further analyzing and commenting on the historic PrEP and hepatitis C initiatives. We strongly support the ambitious goals,” concluded Schmid.
As part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, the president has proposed a $90 million increase for CDC HIV prevention programs and $15 million more to broaden PrEP and PrEP-related services in community health centers. This would build on the existing $157 million dedicated for PrEP among health centers. The president also proposes an increase of $125 million for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for a total of $290 million; and a $47 million increase for HIV and hepatitis prevention activities at the Indian Health Service for a total of $52 million. The requested totals equal the amount that was included in last year’s budget.
The ten-year $9.7 billion nationwide PrEP delivery program seems to be a modified version of the proposal included in last year’s budget. While PrEP was first approved ten years ago, just 30 percent of those who can benefit from it are using it. Uptake is especially low among the groups most impacted by HIV, such as Black, Latinos, and the uninsured. To overcome these barriers, community advocates, including HIV+Hep, have been calling for a national PrEP program.
Late last year, the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute modeled the federal funding needed to increase PrEP for all populations and found $521 million would be needed in year one and $6.18 billion would be needed over ten years. Much of the resources would be dedicated to expanding the number of grantees conducting PrEP along with community and provider outreach.
The historic initiative to eliminate hepatitis C, championed by Dr. Francis Collins, who currently serves as special advisor to the president, seeks to provide outreach, testing, and curative medications to the estimated 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C, many of whom are unaware of their infection. When the estimated cost-savings are factored in, the ten-year budget for the initiative is over $5 billion.
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The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute is a national, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote quality and affordable healthcare for people living with or at risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other serious and chronic health conditions.