House Funding Bill Threatens Response to HIV/AIDS

October 3, 2011

House Labor-HHS Funding Bill Threatens Response to HIV/AIDS Cuts CDC HIV/AIDS

Prevention Funding while Stripping Critical Family Planning Funds

Washington, DC – The House Appropriations Committee has released its draft Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill for fiscal year 2012. The legislation includes cuts to programs that are critical to our nation’s response to HIV/AIDS, including $32.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention and $283 million the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). It would also strip Title X family planning funding, including all funding from Planned Parenthood.

“We are strongly opposed to the proposal put forward by the House Appropriations committee,” said National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. “Specifically targeting programs like the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention is imprudent. What’s more, evidence shows that family planning empowers both men and women to not only prevent pregnancy, but also HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The last thing we should be doing is limiting the weapons at our disposal to fight the spread of HIV.”

The committee’s proposal would also rescind all funding included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to expand community health centers, while stripping $1 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Both programs are critical to increasing access to quality health care while reducing the health disparities that persist among minority communities, including higher rates of HIV and STIs.

“Our nation is at a crossroads in the struggle against HIV and AIDS,” continued Montoya. “The Affordable Care Act and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy put us on a path to reduce infections, increase access to care and mitigate health disparities. At the same time, biomedical advances like treatment as prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis offer powerful new tools to prevent the spread of HIV. This is no time to push cuts that would undermine that progress. We can and must reduce our deficit without putting thousands of Americans at increased risk of HIV infection.”

The House Appropriations Committee proposal also lacks any additional funding for the nation’s AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), which face an unparalleled funding crisis. The Senate’s version would increase ADAP funding by $15 million, while the President requested an additional $55 million. The programs require at least $100 million in additional funds to fill current gaps in services.

Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622 ext. 333