We know that access to quality PrEP care is critical to HIV prevention efforts and we will continue to work with our partners to look for ways to expand PrEP services and commit to equitably expanding access to and uptake of PrEP. As part of Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S., state and local communities (in partnership with CDC and other federal agencies) are employing innovative strategies, such as telePrEP and same-day PrEP delivery, to increase access to and use of PrEP. These efforts focus on African American and Latino gay and bisexual men, African American women, and other populations disproportionately affected by HIV. We appreciate the input from you and your co-signatories and our partnership in HIV prevention.
HIV+Hep strongly supports a recommendation for universal hepatitis B vaccination for all adults. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective, with over 1 billion doses administered worldwide and is estimated to have prevented over 310 million infections worldwide between 1990 and 2020. Despite highly effective vaccines, up to 2.4 million people in the United States may be living with chronic hepatitis B, and there are up to 80,000 new cases of hepatitis B each year. With the proper guidance and resources, each new infection is preventable.
The undersigned 67 public health, HIV, hepatitis, and STD community-based organizations, along with providers, community health centers, and advocacy organizations are writing to urge you to change a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) policy that can immediately help increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV. We ask the CDC to reverse its current prohibition and allow recipients of all HIV prevention funds to pay for PrEP ancillary services such as laboratory services for PrEP screening and monitoring.
As our country continues to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted HIV and hepatitis services, we know we have the science to end two other infectious diseases that have been impacting our country for decades: HIV and hepatitis C. While there still is no cure or vaccine for HIV, we have preventive tools along with treatments that suppress the virus, and together can bring the number of new infections down to a point that we can end HIV.
Testimony for the Record House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies (FY 2022)
On behalf of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, we respectfully submit this testimony in support of increased funding for domestic HIV and hepatitis programs in the FY 2022 Labor, HHS spending bill.