Nation’s Leading HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Organizations Applaud Passage of Bipartisan Spending Package

By Kyle Taylor September 28, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 28, 2018

CONTACT: Kyle Murphy
kmurphy@aidsunited.org | 202-876-2820

Nation’s Leading HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Organizations Applaud Passage of Bipartisan Spending Package
Funding Maintained for Domestic HIV Programs; New Funding for Opioid Crisis

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 – applaud Congress for passage of a bipartisan spending bill that sustains critical funding for HIV, STD, and hepatitis programs, and provides new funding to respond the nation’s surging opioid crisis.

The organizations thank Congress for rejecting proposed cuts to several domestic HIV programs, including the Ryan White AIDS Education and Training Centers, Ryan White Special Projects of National Significance, the HHS Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, and Minority AIDS Initiative at SAMHSA. We commend this bipartisan action, but we also know additional funding is needed in order e to reduce STDs, which are at a record high in the U.S., reverse continued increases in new viral hepatitis infections, and bring an end to HIV in our nation.

The bill also provided $5 million in new funding for the CDC to address the rise in opioid-related HIV and viral hepatitis infections in the hardest hit communities. While more funding is needed to adequately tackle the breadth of the opioid epidemic, including addressing the intersections with the STD epidemics, we believe this action in an important first step in curbing the spread of opioid-related infectious disease.

The final bill also rejected proposed language that would deny federal funding to jurisdictions to operate safer consumption sites (SCS) for people who inject drugs. The inclusion of the language would have limited available evidence-based interventions and public health responses to the opioid crisis.

We commend Congress for sustaining crucial HIV, STD, and hepatitis funding. We know sustaining the gains made in the struggle against these epidemics and tackling the surging number of infectious diseases associated with the opioid epidemic will require greater investments still. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to find ways to increase funding for each of these critical programs.

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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 the HIV, STD, and hepatitis epidemics in the United States by sharing resources to advocate for HIV, STD, and hepatitis programs and appropriations.