This week the House Appropriations Committee met to discuss the appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The bill covers a majority of funding for domestic HIV care and prevention programs. This bill passed out of committee with few amendments, and it will be referred to the full House. A date for the full House review has not been set.
This bill provides an overall increase of $1.5 billion to Health and Human Services programs. Specifically, this bill supports the National Institutes of Health through $3.1 billion for HIV research.
The bill also provides the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with $150 million to support efforts to reduce new HIV infections by 90% over the next 10 years.
Finally, this bill provides $2.4 billion for Ryan White HIV/AIDS programs. While it increases HIV research funding by $37 million above fiscal year 2020 enacted levels, funding for Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative remains lacking.
The Federal AIDS Policy Partnership, a national coalition advocating for federal funding, legislation and policy aimed at ending the HIV epidemic in the United States, recommended $105 million be given to this key initiative.
This bill funds the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative at $57 million for FY 2021. While this is a slight increase from the $53.9 million in FY 2020, this vital program remains underfunded. The Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative, formally known as Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, aims to fund activities aimed toward racial/ethnic minority groups, at-risk groups, as well as disproportionately affected geographic areas. These funded activities promote innovation and collaboration among state and local agencies with community organizations working to strengthen HIV prevention and care among minority populations in the United States. As many are aware, people of color and other minorities are disproportionately impacted by HIV. While our nation is rising up to face the impacts of racial injustice, we encourage those in Congress to fund this program to the levels suggested by the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership. Click here to view a full committee provided summary.