AHF Lauds House Appropriations Committee for Passing Bills that Continue Key US & Global HIV/AIDS Funding

WASHINGTON (July 20, 2017) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) welcomes news that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations approved draft legislation yesterday that would continue funding for leading successful federal programs that respond to HIV on the international and domestic fronts in the next fiscal year.

The committee supported $6 billion for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and related global programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  On the domestic front the committee also continued funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program at $2.3 billion which provides vital services for people living with HIV who are underinsured, including the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and $356 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program (HOPWA). The committee also enhanced funding for essential HIV research at the U.S. National Institutes for Health (NIH) with a $1.1 billion increase.  AHF is concerned that the committee did not continue funding for the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF). Given the disproportionate burden of the AIDS epidemic on communities of color, any cuts to SMAIF will have an adverse impact.  However, AHF recognizes that Minority AIDS Initiative will continue to be funded at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), CDC and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). A comprehensive Kaiser Family Foundation summary of the House Appropriations committee approval can be found here.

“We are pleased that a bipartisan approach to the response to this epidemic continues in both the domestic and international arenas.  In June, a delegation of our staff, clients and providers walked the halls of the US Congress making the case for continued leadership from the United States for PEPFAR and the Global Fund.  In April, our domestic U.S. based staff and mobilizers also visited congressional offices making the case for investing in prevention, treatment, care and support services.  While we advocated for modest increases in these programs, in the current political environment, AHF is grateful for the decisions this committee has made and we will keep up our advocacy as the focus turns to the U.S. Senate,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

In June, AHF brought a small group of medical providers, HIV/AIDS patients and advocates from some AHF countries and sites around the world to meet with legislators in Washington to lobby Congress to maintain US funding for lifesaving programs including PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Left to right: Dr. Sam Prasad, AHF India Country Director; U.S. Rep. Tom Cole; Nelson Otwoma, AHF Kenya Advisory Board Member and Executive Director of the National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya; and Dr. Audrey Kisaka, Medical Officer, AHF’S Dr. Charles Farthing Memorial Clinic in Kampala, Uganda.