Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 876-2820, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. – Five of the nation’s leading organizations focused on ending the HIV, STD, and hepatitis epidemics in the United States – AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC and The AIDS Institute – are urging Congress to immediately provide an additional $100 million to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to tackle the recent explosion of infectious diseases due to opioid use in the United States.
We agree with the Administration and Congress that the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis, and urgently request the increased funding for the CDC’s viral hepatitis programs and the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB as part of the final FY2018 spending bill. Additional funding will enable the CDC and its grantees to be better equipped to tackle the recent increases in hepatitis C, HIV, and STD outbreaks associated with opioids, help jurisdictions scale up prevention efforts, including syringe service programs, and increase infectious disease testing and linkage to care and treatment.
The rapid rise in injection-drug use is unleashing a cascade of public health threats beyond the significant rise of overdoses, including increases in hepatitis C, HIV, and STDs, particularly among young adults. The number of new hepatitis C cases nationwide nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015, and hepatitis C now kills more Americans than all other 60 notifiable infectious diseases combined.
Increases for opioid funding can only occur if Congress and the President both first agree to increase the budget caps for non-defense spending. Additionally, proposed FY 2018 funding cuts to programs, such as the Minority AIDS Initiative and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA), must be rejected and cuts made in FY2017 to the CDC STD program and the Ryan White Program must be restored.
Every day the Congress waits to act means more American lives torn apart by drug use and infectious disease outbreaks. The nation must take decisive action to address this crisis — the deadliest in American history — and stem the tide of hepatitis C, HIV, and STD infections associated with it. The right drug treatment and infectious disease prevention efforts can significantly reduce opioid addiction, overdose deaths and new blood borne infections. But until we dedicate the necessary resources, all the progress made in the struggle against hepatitis C, HIV, and STDs is at risk of being undone.
AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations focused on ending HIV in the U.S. They have been working in partnership to identify and share resources to sustain successes and progress we have made in HIV and STD prevention, care and treatment in the United States.