Increasing Funding to End the HIV and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics

By Oscar Mairena and Emily McCloskey, Managers of Policy & Legislative Affairs

­­­­­President's FY2014 BudgetAs we begin to see the effects of the sequester on public health programs nationwide, it becomes increasingly clear that we must increase funding for HIV and viral hepatitis programs in FY2014 and onward in order to truly end these epidemics and improve the nation’s health. In light of this need, NASTAD has released fact sheets with recommendations for FY2014 health department HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis program funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The across-the-board cut to federal programs in FY2013 known as the sequester means that CDC’s Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) and Viral Hepatitis (DVH) are cut by $40 million and $1 million, respectively, while HRSA’s Ryan White Program Part B and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) are cut by $22 million and $47 million, respectively. Additionally, because the continuing resolution (CR) that is currently funding FY2013 did not include the Emergency Relief Funding (ERF) for ADAPs that President Obama announced on World AIDS Day 2011, ADAPs are cut by an additional $35 million, on top of the sequester, unless the Administration acts to provide ERF once again.

The President’s Budget proposal for FY2014 would, however, undo the sequester, restore the cuts that happened in FY2013 and increase funding for HIV surveillance, viral hepatitis prevention and ADAPs, including continuation of the ERF. While NASTAD supports the President’s request, there continues to be a need for increased funding for health department HIV and viral hepatitis prevention and care programs in order to truly turn the page on these epidemics. Specifically, NASTAD recommends that, when compared to FY2012:

  • “HIV Prevention by Health Departments” receive an increase of $75 million
  • HIV surveillance cooperative agreements receive an increase of $35 million
  • Viral hepatitis prevention receives an increase of $5.3 million for the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator Program (VHPC)
  • Ryan White Part B receives an increase of $36 million
  • ADAPs receive an increase of $133 million, including continuation of the ERF
  • State and local health departments have the discretion to use federal funds to support cost-effective and scientifically proven, syringe services programs

These increases will better equip health departments to meet the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), the HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, CDC’s high-impact prevention model and will increase access, linkage to and retention in care and treatment.

Additionally, NASTAD is a part of the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition and convenes the Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership, which continuously advocate for HIV and viral hepatitis funding for health departments, community based organizations, providers, research and others. To find out more about ABAC’s funding requests, please see their website.

Please view the fact sheets:

We want to hear from you! Tell us how budget cuts and the sequester are affecting HIV and viral hepatitis programs in your state by leaving a comment below.