March 26, 2012
The President is recommending increased funding in three areas that are vital to meeting the goals set in his National HIV/AIDS Strategy: treatment, health care, and prevention. He has proposed a $67 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides treatment to low-income uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV. ADAPs around the country have struggled for years to provide services to everyone in need, with many states forced to institute waiting lists and other cost-containment measures. If approved by Congress, the increase would greatly help stabilize access to treatment next year while we prepare for implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The President has also recommended a $20 million increase for Part C of the Ryan White Program, which funds primary health care for people with HIV around the country. Finally, the budget proposes a $40 million increase in HIV prevention activities, which is crucial to achieving the Strategy's goals of reducing new HIV infections.
President Obama continued his support for fighting the hepatitis B and C epidemics by proposing $29.8 million for viral hepatitis prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While this amount is the same funding level as approved in the last spending bill, it would move the one-time $10 million allocation from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to baseline spending, ensuring that services developed from this funding are sustained over time.
Finally, in a move that was applauded by HIV and hepatitis C advocates, the President proposed to once again lift the federal funding ban on syringe exchange programs. This ban was lifted in 2009, but reinstated last year as part of negotiating a compromise spending bill, an extremely disappointing loss for science-based prevention.
Project Inform will work with our HIV and hepatitis C advocacy partners to secure, at a minimum, the increases proposed by President Obama and to make sure that Congress lifts the funding ban on syringe exchange programs. For more information about our federal budget advocacy, contact Ryan Clary.