Congress avoided a shutdown of the federal government by finally negotiating a federal funding bill for fiscal year 2017. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law, but how did AIDS-related programs come out in these negotiations?
Funding was decreased for Part C of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program focusing on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, also known as STIs). However, funding was increased for other parts of the Ryan White program and for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, according to a press release by the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), working in conjunction with AIDS United, The AIDS Institute, the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC).
Specifically, in FY2017, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is funded at $2.318 billion, which is $4 million less than FY2016. HOPWA will be funded at $356 million, which is an increase of $21 million from last year. The CDC’s STD prevention programs are funded at $152.3 million, which is a reduction of $5 million. And the CDC HIV prevention programs are funded at $755.3 million, the same as FY2016.
“The increase to the HOPWA program will ensure that people living with HIV maintain access to housing, a critical part of the care and prevention toolbox,” said Paul Kawata, executive director of the NMAC, in the press release. “The Ryan White Program, Minority AIDS Initiative, and HIV prevention at CDC are crucial federal programs, and while we all know that the federal budget environment is challenged, we are grateful to maintain funding—but we have much work to do to reduce racial disparities in HIV and other STDs when it comes to care and prevention.”
“Specifically for STDs,” added David C. Harvey, executive director of NCSD, “we are at a 20-year high for rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, and funding cuts devastate our ability to reverse these trends.”
For regular updates on HIV-related policy on Capitol Hill, check out AIDS United’s POZ blog here.