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  • HIVMA Statement on Senate LHHS and State and Foreign Ops Funding Bills

    09/07/2017

    Statement of HIVMA Chair Wendy Armstrong, MD, FIDSA:

    In funding bills passed today, members of two Senate committees demonstrated a commitment to public health and the health of individuals living with HIV in the United States and abroad with their recommendations for investing in biomedical research, prevention and care and treatment programs.

    While we await details on funding levels for some programs, HIVMA applauds the following funding recommendations put forward by the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Other Agencies subcommittee:

    •     A $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, including the continuation of the Fogarty   International Center and increases for all of the NIH Centers and Institutes
     

    •     Continued funding at the Fiscal Year 2017 level for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which plays an important role in providing HIV care and treatment to uninsured and underinsured patients with HIV

    •     Sustained funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV, Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis, Global AIDS Program and other Center for Global Health programs at the Fiscal Year 2017 levels

    •     Level funding for the Affordable Care Act, including for enrollment assistance which is critical to supporting the robust enrollment necessary to keep premiums down

    •     Level funding for Family Planning Clinics and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program – both of which play an important role in providing services and education to prevent HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections 

    •     A $13 million increase in funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and continuation of the policy allowing the use of federal funding to support syringe services.  

    We are heartened that the Senate State and Foreign Operations subcommittee sustained funding for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and would repeal the Global Gag Rule – which restricts federal funding to international non-governmental programs providing women’s health services. Fully funding these programs, and ensuring continued expansion of treatment access is critical to averting preventable illnesses, new infections and deaths from HIV, and sustaining momentum toward ending HIV as a global health threat.

    We urge the Senate to quickly pass both bills, and for the Senate funding levels to be adopted in the final spending bills for these programs that are critical to maintain our ability to prevent and treat HIV and to sustain the possibility of ending the HIV epidemic domestically and globally. 

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    The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is the professional home for more than 5,000 physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.

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