HIV Specialist - June 2021 - 18

Key Investments in Ending the HIV Epidemic
President's Budget Proposes
Key Investments in Ending the HIV Epidemic
BY: LESLIE MCGORMAN
THE WHITE HOUSE released its long anticipated President's budget request (the first step in the Congressional
appropriations process), prioritizing $6 trillion in spending aimed at economic recovery and expansion. Through the " American
Jobs Plan " and the " American Families Plan, " the budget proposal calls for massive and historic investments, including in the
country's public health infrastructure and in the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) many responsibilities. The
White House has also committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has requested significant funding to execute that goal.
Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE)
The budget proposes an acceleration
and strengthening of efforts to end
the epidemic in the U.S. with a $670
million investment in programming
to reduce new HIV cases, increase
treatment, and expand the use of PrEP,
while ensuring equitable access to
services and supports. Of importance
to Academy members, those dollars
primarily will be focused on strategies
that closely align with the communities
where HIV transmission is the highest -
and will continue to include prevention,
diagnosis, and treatment interventions.
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC)
With these dollars, the CDC is
committed to providing additional
expertise, technology, and resources
to the 57 EHE focus jurisdictions. The
$275 million in funding for EHE (a
$100 million increase) is estimated to
result in approximately 14,000 new
diagnoses, 12,000 people re-linked to
health care, 13,000 people enrolled
in PrEP services and treatment, and
investigation of and response to 75-100
HIV clusters or outbreaks. The CDC
has also prioritized health equity as
being central to addressing the HIV
epidemic, including utilizing innovative
strategies to increase access to HIV
prevention services, enhance community
engagement, and combat stigma.
The budget also includes funding to
address the disproportionate impact of
HIV and hepatitis C infections in Tribal
communities. However, while the amount
requested for Indian Health Services'
within the NIH, a $10 million increase. In
particular, this funding will go to NIHsponsored
Centers for AIDS Research
to support the initiative to end HIV/
AIDS through evidence-based research
on new strategies for the successful
delivery of integrated prevention and
treatment.
Ending the Epidemic plan is significantly
higher than in previous years ($27
million - a $22 million increase!), the
amount requested for viral hepatitis
within the (CDC) budget remains
unchanged-a frustrating decision by the
administration and disappointing news
for providers working across issues.
Health Resources and Services
Administration (HRSA)
Also important to Academy members
is the budget proposal's investment in
HRSA. As a reminder, HRSA ensures
equitable access to services and supports
for low-income people with HIV through
Health Centers as well as the Ryan White
HIV/AIDS Program. This budget proposes
$152 million for Health Centers (a $50
million increase), and $190 million in the
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (an $85
million increase). Total Ryan White funds
are proposed to increase by $131 million,
but only across Part A, B, and C.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The budget proposal also includes $26
million for implementation research
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
One disappointing element of the
President's budget is in the Housing
Opportunities for Persons With AIDS
(HOPWA) program. This critical program
is the only federal program that's
dedicating to the housing needs of
people with HIV/AIDS, and expressly
benefits those with low incomes and
their families. We know this program is
particularly important as the country
moves toward economic recovery,
with many folks still struggling with
permanent, safe, and affordable
housing. As such, the broader coalition
of HIV-related provider groups and
community organizations requested the
administration boost HOPWA funding
from $450 million to $600 million, a
hefty increase that would actually
make progress in the lives of so many.
Unfortunately the President's budget
only proposes a $20 million increase,
which is obviously a significant and
disappointing difference from the
community's ask. HIV
LESLIE MCGORMAN is the
Director of Public Policy for the
American Academy of HIV
Medicine.
18 JUNE 2021 HIVSPECIALIST WWW.AAHIVM.ORG
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HIV Specialist - June 2021

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