House Passes Labor-HHS Appropriations with Funding for Ending the HIV Epidemic, Senate Must Follow
The House passage of its FY 2020 appropriations “minibus” funding bill Wednesday supports and sustains important federal HIV and public health programs and offers essential support for the administration’s initiative to end the American HIV epidemic in fiscal year 2020.
Aiming to reduce new HIV cases by 90% within the next decade, the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative holds the potential to eliminate the public health threat of ongoing HIV transmission in this country. The funding bill passed by the House is an important first step to implementing the initiative’s plan to expand access to HIV testing, prevention, care and treatment and more quickly identify and respond to clusters of new cases. The House bill supports these efforts by including:
- $140 million in funding for targeted HIV prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- $70 million in funding to bolster the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program;
- $50 million in funding to HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care to expand PrEP through community health centers.
In addition to funding the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, the bill includes:
- An additional $78 million to CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention to increase funding for viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and opioid-related infectious diseases;
- An additional $46 million increase to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program;
- A $155 million increase for HIV/AIDS research and an overall $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health; and
- An $11 million increase to the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative funding distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The bill also maintains policies proposed by the Labor, Health and Human Services subcommittee, including no restrictions on the use of federal funds for syringe service programs and blocking the administration restrictions – widely known as the “domestic gag rule” – on family planning clinics that receive Title X funding. The bill passed by the House also includes an amendment that blocks the administration’s new policy to ban federal funding for extramural medical research that uses human fetal tissue—a ban that would imperil research on the most promising strategies to develop cures for HIV and other life-threatening conditions.
HIVMA urges Senate leaders and the administration to work together to lift budget caps to avert harmful cuts to HIV and other public health programs, and for the House and Senate versions of this funding bill to include these funding increases and evidence-based policies.