December 2, 2023

Grace Abels | KFF Well being Information (TNS)

Republicans in Congress are “making an attempt to wipe out federal funding to finish the HIV epidemic.”

President Joe Biden on Oct. 14, 2023, in remarks on the 2023 Human Rights Marketing campaign Nationwide Dinner.


Are Republicans threatening to cease spending federal cash to finish one of many world’s most urgent public well being epidemics? That’s what President Joe Biden stated throughout a dinner hosted by an LGBTQ+ advocacy group.

“In the US Congress, excessive MAGA Republicans try to undo just about each little bit of progress we’ve made,” Biden stated Oct. 14 on the Human Rights Marketing campaign occasion. “They’re making an attempt to wipe out federal funding to finish the HIV epidemic.”

Packages to deal with HIV and battle its unfold have loved bipartisan funding help in recent times, consultants stated, so Biden’s portrayal alerts a big departure.

Once we requested the White Home what Biden was referring to, it pointed us to studies of funds suggestions from Home Republicans that decision for giant cuts to the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, a Trump administration-era program designed to scale back new HIV infections within the U.S., in addition to different packages.

The Senate Appropriations Committee handed a separate spending plan. The suggestions can be topic to negotiation because the Home and Senate face a Nov. 17 deadline to move one other spending invoice.

We discovered that though Republicans are recommending important cuts to HIV prevention efforts throughout numerous public well being companies, the proposal retains core funding intact. In the meantime, political variations are eroding bipartisan help for international HIV-prevention funding.

Regardless of nice strides in prevention and remedy since HIV was first reported within the U.S. within the Nineteen Eighties, HIV stays at epidemic ranges within the U.S. right this moment, with roughly 1.2 million folks residing with HIV and round 30,000 to 35,000 new infections every year. Specialists stated instances are rising within the South and in rural areas, and new an infection statistics present it’s disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic populations.

What Are the Proposed Cuts?

The AIDS Price range and Appropriations Coalition, a gaggle of greater than 100 public well being advocacy organizations that monitor modifications in HIV-related federal spending, stated a majority of the proposed cuts to home HIV funding stem from Home Republicans’ effort to get rid of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.

This system began in 2019 with the purpose of decreasing new HIV infections within the U.S. by 75% by 2025 and 90% by 2030. This system to this point labored regionally, concentrating on areas which have the best charges of HIV instances for funding.

In 2023, about $573 million was allotted for this system throughout varied companies, in line with KFF’s funding tracker.

  • $220 million to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
  • $165 million to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. (It was named for a 13-year-old recognized with HIV in 1984 and is overseen by the Well being Sources and Providers Administration.)
  • $5 million to the Indian Well being Service.
  • $26 million to the Nationwide Institutes of Well being for analysis.
  • $157.3 million to neighborhood well being facilities, which have handled round 200,000 HIV sufferers yearly.

This system lags its objectives because it approaches the 2025 benchmark. “It’s properly designed, properly deliberate, it has targets that is sensible,” stated Jeffrey Sturchio, a lead researcher on a Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research report.

Sturchio stated the issue isn’t a fault of design, however funding, including, “Congress has by no means absolutely funded the initiative.”

Sturchio pointed to a spread of native and state “bureaucratic hurdles.” Jurisdictions that have pulled collectively adequate assets have seen “super progress,” he stated, and general indicators appear to be transferring in the proper path.

However COVID-19 decreased HIV testing and should have diverted public well being efforts, CDC directors stated. KFF Well being Information reported in April that stakeholders noticed progress however anxious that it gained’t be sufficient to make the 2030 deadline.

Democrats seem to share this concern. The spending invoice proposed by the Democratic-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee maintained or barely elevated funding ranges to all HIV-related packages. The committee requested extra knowledge about this system, describing its “lack of quantifiable knowledge displaying outcomes.”

The Home has not but handed the invoice out of committee. We all know of some proposed cuts from the invoice, which the Republican-led Home Appropriations Subcommittee launched in July.

It outlines a $1.6 billion minimize to the CDC, together with a $220 million discount in “HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted illnesses, and tuberculosis prevention” and a $238.5 million minimize from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. The Ryan White program offers medical care and help providers to low-income HIV sufferers and serves greater than half of these recognized within the U.S.

The invoice additionally proposes slicing funding to the Minority HIV/AIDS fund by greater than half — from $60 million to $28 million. In response to, the fund helps prevention and care initiatives concentrating on disparities that have an effect on communities of shade.

Further particulars about how these cuts may have an effect on packages are detailed in a committee report that has not been made public. PolitiFact and a few advocacy organizations obtained copies of the report, however the Home Appropriations Committee didn’t reply to questions on it. The report we noticed advisable slicing all funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.

And Home Democrats, advocacy organizations, and KFF Well being Information have every reported that the Ryan White program and CDC cuts consequence from a plan to get rid of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.

“In the event that they minimize funding, it’s going to have a dramatic and draconian impression on the power of all the people who find themselves working in these jurisdictions to enhance public well being,” stated Sturchio, the researcher.

Though the cuts can be dramatic, consultants stated, they’d not get rid of all home HIV funding.

“There may be definitely an indication and a dedication to among the core HIV packages, however there are tens of millions of {dollars} of proposed cuts in different areas,” stated Lindsey Dawson, affiliate director for HIV coverage at KFF. “These cuts would have a significant impression on the power of packages to offer lifesaving interventions for each HIV care and remedy, in addition to prevention.”

The cuts would imply a 16% minimize to the CDC’s division of STD prevention, a 9% minimize to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, and a 53% minimize to the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund from fiscal 12 months 2023 to 2024.

These funding cuts are solely proposals. They require a vote from the complete appropriations committee and must move the Home and be negotiated with a Democratic-controlled Senate.

“We’ve heard for a very long time that HIV is a bipartisan challenge. However what some folks overlook, is that that bipartisanship was arduous fought for over the primary decade of the HIV epidemic,” stated Dawson.

Different Challenges to HIV/AIDS Spending

The U.S. dedication to international HIV prevention, in the meantime, can also be beneath scrutiny. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., challenged reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Aid, also referred to as PEPFAR, with out first making some modifications. Began in 2003 by President George W. Bush, the program distributes funds in additional than 50 nations for HIV testing, prevention, remedy, and medicines. It additionally strengthens well being care programs to battle AIDS.

Funding for this system has grown over the previous 20 years, totaling greater than $110 billion. This system reported 25 million lives saved by medical intervention.

Smith, who chairs the Home International Affairs subcommittee on International Well being, has expressed considerations that cash is being given to nongovernmental organizations that help abortion rights and entry.

U.S. regulation prohibits the direct use of abroad funding to offer abortions or to foyer for entry to abortions. This has been the case since 1973. Nonetheless, organizations that obtain U.S. funding can achieve this with their very own non-U.S. funding.

An official from the State Division, which runs this system, confirmed to PolitiFact that PEPFAR is legally restricted from funding abortion or lobbying for abortion entry; the official cited the coaching of employees and companions and the monitoring of procedures to make sure compliance.

Different anti-abortion teams have favored a“Mexico Metropolis Coverage,’‘ which has required international nongovernmental organizations to certify that they’d not carry out or promote abortion with funds from any supply to be eligible for U.S. authorities funding. Trump utilized the coverage to PEPFAR, however Biden rescinded it.

The failure to reauthorize PEPFAR wouldn’t get rid of this system, and Congress can proceed to fund this system with out reauthorization, however it may trigger some provisions to lapse over the subsequent few years.

The dearth of a reauthorization would have important symbolic impression, stated Kellie Moss, KFF’s affiliate director of world well being and HIV coverage. “It may make this system extra weak throughout funding discussions with no clear sign of bipartisan help.”

Though reauthorization is being held up, funding has progressed. On Sept. 28, the Home handed a State Division and International Operations Appropriations invoice, which might fund PEPFAR for one more 12 months however implement a Mexico Metropolis-like coverage provision on all international well being funding. This invoice would additionally lengthen the lapsing provisions for one more 12 months.

Our Ruling

Biden stated that Republicans in Congress are “making an attempt to wipe out federal funding to finish the HIV epidemic.”

A subcommittee of Home Republicans has proposed slicing some HIV prevention packages wherever from 53% to 9% in fiscal 2024, relying on this system.

A committee’s draft report cited by advocacy and coverage teams reveals these cuts stem from the elimination of the Trump-era Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, though the committee didn’t reply to questions on that.

Taken collectively, these cuts wouldn’t get rid of — or “wipe out” — all federal home HIV spending, however they do signify a big minimize.

In the meantime, the Home has not moved forward to reauthorize PEPFAR, which provides U.S. {dollars} for international HIV prevention, over Republican considerations about the place organizations that obtain the cash stand on abortion entry. However the Home has handed one 12 months of PEPFAR funding with some circumstances about how it’s distributed, which it may possibly do with out reauthorizing this system.

Biden’s assertion is partially correct in that important funding cuts have been proposed by Home Republicans, however he exaggerates by saying these efforts would “wipe out” federal funding.

We fee this declare Half True.


(KFF Well being Information, previously referred to as Kaiser Well being Information (KHN), is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points and is without doubt one of the core working packages of KFF — the unbiased supply for well being coverage analysis, polling and journalism.)

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