AIDS United Calls for Increased Funding to End the HIV Epidemic

Contact: Drew Gibson, Director of Advocacy 

During last year’s Congressional appropriations cycle, HIV advocates were forced to fight back against the steepest and most damaging cuts to federal HIV funding that had ever been proposed. House Republicans had called for over $767 million in HIV funding cuts that would have defunded critical programs and services that ensure people living with HIV receive the care they need. 

Thanks to your efforts we were successful in our advocacy, preventing any reduction in funding for HIV programs in Fiscal Year 2024. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will be getting any easier for us this appropriations cycle. 

Over the last month, AIDS United has submitted testimony to both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related Agencies (Labor-HHS) on Fiscal Year 2025 HIV appropriations. 

With this testimony, AIDS United has called on Congress to “increase the federal government’s financial commitment to meeting the goals of the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative (EHE Initiative) and support safety net programs that protect public health.” Currently, the funding to support the initiative is failing to meet the needs of people living with HIV. Increased funding is key to achieving the Initiative’s goal of effectively ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S.    

In our testimony, AIDS United has outlined a number of funding priorities that we believe are essential to our efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the United States and to provide all people living with and impacted by HIV access the care and services they need to live well.  


Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative 

The EHE Initiative has allowed resources to be directly targeted to where they can be most effective, helping reduce new transmissions of HIV in parts of the country where HIV is the most prevalent and ensuring that care for those living with HIV in those areas is available.  

This is why AIDS United is calling on Congress to increase funding in Fiscal Year 2025 (FY’25) for the EHE Initiative to $395 million for CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, $358.6 million for HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and $207 million for HRSA Community Health Centers.   


The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program 

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has provided comprehensive health care services to over 561,000 clients – three-quarters of whom are racial and ethnic minorities – for more than 30 years. The program has been a model for a successful public health response with 90% of Ryan White Program clients achieving viral suppression. Increased investment in the Ryan White Program is also essential to ensuring that older adults living with HIV have access to the care they need, something explicitly articulated in AIDS United’s outside witness testimony by Vice President for Public Affairs & Chief Policy Officer Carl Baloney. 

“As the population living with HIV grows older and begins experiencing comorbidities associated with aging, the Ryan White Program remains a critical safety net,” Baloney wrote. 

To maintain this critical safety net and ensure this successful program can continue functioning, AIDS United urges Congress to increase funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program by $510.8 million as compared to FY’24. 


CDC Prevention Programs 

“Increasing funding for high-impact, community focused HIV prevention services has proven to result in a strong return on investment,” Baloney states, as these programs continue to address racial and geographic health disparities while reducing rates of HIV infections and decreasing medical costs associated with HIV treatment.  

Some of these programs offer services such as, “testing, linkage to care, condom distribution, syringe service programs (SSPs), and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), with jurisdictions employing a combination of these approaches to combat HIV transmission.”  


Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) 

PrEP, when taken as prescribed, effectively prevents the transmission of HIV; its increasing access “has been a key strategy in ending the HIV epidemic, yet progress must be made more equitably,” Baloney shares, to ensure racial, ethnic, gender or class disparities do not affect people’s ability to access the medication.  

Congress must prioritize reducing these disparities in its efforts to increase access to PrEP and AIDS United urges Congress to support funding for programs that seek to increase this access and limit barriers to getting the medication.  


CDC’s Opioid Related Infectious Diseases Program 

“In 2023, nearly 112,000 Americans lost their lives to overdose,” Baloney states, “At the same time, HIV transmissions among people who use drugs have risen over the past five years and viral hepatitis transmission among people who inject drugs continues to skyrocket.” To combat the overdose crisis that the United States is currently facing requires continued support for evidence-based harm reduction interventions. The CDC’s Opioid Related Infectious Diseases program is best situated to support harm reduction programming to end the overdose, HIV and viral hepatis crisis.  

AIDS United calls on Congress to fund the CDC’s Infectious Diseases and Opioid Epidemic program at $150 million in FY’25.  


Support for Syringe Services Programs 

Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are proven, evidence-based effective tools in addressing the overdose crisis. However, these programs continue to be attacked by a harmful policy rider from the FY’24 Labor-HHS appropriations bill that prevents federal dollars from being used to purchase syringes and other drug use equipment by SSPs to prevent the spread of infectious disease. 

Removing this harmful restriction would ensure that communities are not at risk for increased HIV or hepatitis infections due to injection drug use.  


The Minority AIDS Initiative 

The Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) – which supports programs created by various HHS agencies – and the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund both provide support for HIV prevention, care, treatment and outreach to racial and ethnic minorities that are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. “Three out of four new HIV infections occur among people of color,” Baloney notes, through which this initiative and fund work to address these racial and ethnic disparities.   

AIDS United asks Congress to fund the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund at $105 million and to fund the MAI programs across HHS agencies at $610 million. 


AIDS United will continue to call for increased funding to support efforts to meet the goals of the EHE Initiative and ensure equitable access to HIV prevention, treatment, and resources, particularly for communities of color.  

For more information on the testimony submitted and AIDS United’s work supporting increased Congressional support for programs serving the HIV community, please reach out to Director of Advocacy Drew Gibson, at 

You can read AIDS United’s outside witness testimony concerning the FY’25 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bills in its entirety by clicking here.