House proposes funding increases for domestic HIV programs
No Funding for National PrEP Program
Washington DC… 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.
“We sincerely thank Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro and the entire subcommittee, including HIV/AIDS Caucus Co-chair Barbara Lee and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who have been leading efforts to increase PrEP access, for demonstrating their steadfast commitment to ending HIV in the United States,” commented Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute.
“While we are appreciative of the proposed increases, we are disappointed that funding for a national PrEP access program was not included,” continued Schmid. “Creating such a program has been a priority of President Biden, many members of Congress, and the HIV community, who are advocating for a $400 million initiative at the CDC to ramp up PrEP. President Biden has proposed a ten-year $9.8 billion mandatory spending national PrEP program. Such a program is particularly necessary for those communities who have not taken full advantage of the highly effective HIV prevention drugs, including Black and Latino gay men and Black women. Even with the availability of low-cost generic and free daily oral PrEP drugs, uptake has been low due to the lack of community and provider outreach, lab and other medical costs, along with stigma,” said Schmid.
He added, “PrEP, which now includes a long-acting injectable, is essential to preventing HIV and integral to ending HIV. We hope that the Senate will include such an initiative in its bill, and we will work within the existing funding streams to increase PrEP uptake.”
For the Ending the HIV Epidemic program, the House Subcommittee includes a $50 million increase for CDC’s HIV prevention efforts (compared to the president’s request of a $115 million increase); $125 million more for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (the president’s budget proposal was a $165 million increase); and $50 million more for the Community Health Centers to focus on PrEP (which is equal to the president’s budget request). While the president proposed an increase of $330 million for these three programs, the House is recommending an increase of $225 million, for a total of $667 million.
The House Labor HHS bill also includes a $3 million increase for the Minority AIDS Initiative and removes the federal funding ban on the purchase of sterile syringes.
Funding details for CDC’s hepatitis division is not included in the bill; however, the presidents’ budget called for an increase of $13.5 million for a total of $54.5 million.
Separately, the House Transportation/HUD FY2023 funding bill contains an increase in HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program by $150 million for a total of $600 million. This equals the HIV community ask and is $145 million more than President Biden requested. The Interior Appropriations bill included funding for HIV and hepatitis C efforts. The amount is not known yet, but the president’s budget included an increase of $47 million for a total of $52 million.
HIV+Hep looks forward to the subcommittee mark up of these bills, which is scheduled for today, and to learning more details of the House appropriation measure, and amendment opportunities in the full committee and the House. We also hope the Senate in their bill will include the president’s budget requests for the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, along with a national PrEP program. Lastly, we hope that a final bill will be enacted this year that, unlike last year, will include these measurable increases.
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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.