The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) applauds President Barack Obama’s commitment to reaching an AIDS-free generation in the U.S. as reflected in the proposed federal budget for the 2017 fiscal year.
Thanks to the Obama administration’s dedication to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the proposed budget advances progress toward making HIV infections rare by:
Supporting the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The budget invests $2.3 billion in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to provide treatment and care completion services for people living with HIV, and includes $900 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program to ensure that people living with HIV have access to life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatments.
Increasing funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. The budget expands access to highly effective prevention and treatment services, including $20 million to increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent in people who are at high risk.
Supporting housing assistance for people living with HIV and AIDS. The budget provides $335 million for Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program to address housing needs among people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
Increasing support for our veterans living with HIV and AIDS. The budget includes $1.13 billion within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including a $57 million increase for medical care, to ensure that veterans living with HIV and AIDS receive high quality, comprehensive clinical care, including diagnosis of their infection and timely linkage to medical care.
In 2010, President Obama became the first President to release the nation's first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), updated last year with 2020 goals. We are pleased to see that the proposed federal budget reflects the NHAS call to prioritize HIV/AIDS resources within high-burden communities and among high-risk groups, including gay and bisexual men, transgender women, African Americans and Latino Americans.
As we thank the Obama administration for its commitment to promoting the health and well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable groups, we urge the Illinois General Assembly – on the day of President Obama’s Feb. 10 visit to Springfield – to follow this federal example by passing a responsible budget that serves the needs of the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
Advocacy and National.