FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2019
CONTACT: Cory Combs | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202-280-2398
Washington, D.C. – The Partnership to End the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Epidemics, 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 – today issued the following statement in response to the FY2020 funding deal:
“The Partnership to End the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Epidemics is strongly encouraged by the FY2020 budget agreement reached by Congress, which significantly increases funding for HIV treatment and prevention services to support the federal government’s strategy to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.
Under the agreement, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would receive $140 million in new funding, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would receive $120 million in funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative. These vital resources are a historic step to fight our nation’s HIV crisis, protect our public health infrastructure, and ensure that more Americans will receive the care and treatment they need.
The Partnership to End the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Epidemics also applauds Congress for increasing funding for STD prevention for the first time in nearly two decades as STDs in the United States hit all-time highs. Our elected officials must act to combat this public health crisis, and we look forward to working together to continue this progress.
Unfortunately, viral hepatitis prevention remains under-supported and core funding was left level despite a significant increase in new infections. While we are thankful for the $5 million increase in funding to eliminate opioid-related infectious diseases, which includes HIV and viral hepatitis, a much more significant investment is required in order to end the exploding viral hepatitis epidemic. In addition, Congress failed to fund Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative activities at the Indian Health Service. This adds significant challenges to ending the HIV, hepatitis, and STD epidemics in Indian Country. Congress also failed to remove funding restrictions that prevent syringe services programs from purchasing syringes and other risk reduction equipment. This is a significant barrier for these programs in providing HIV prevention services and we call on Congress to end this outdated rider at the earliest possible moment.
As we look ahead to the start of a new decade, we have the tools and resources needed to end these epidemics once and for all. With this budget agreement, that dream is closer to a reality. The Partnership to End the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Epidemics thanks Congress for this critical action so that we can implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan and begin to address the STD and hepatitis epidemics to ensure a better future for our communities.”
AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations who formed the Partnership to End HIV, STDs, and Hepatitis in order to secure the necessary rights, resources, and services for those affected by the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis epidemics through sound policies and appropriations at the federal level. Learn more at www.endhivstdhep.org.