March 16, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Leads Colleagues in Calling on President Biden to Increase Funding for Domestic HIV/AIDS Programs

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), along with Representatives Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR-At Large) and Maxine Waters (CA-43), led 30 colleagues in a letter urging President Biden to significantly increase funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs and reestablish the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP).

“As you and your Administration draft your Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request, we urge you to significantly increase funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs,” the lawmakers wrote. “The United States has many effective HIV treatment, prevention, research and housing programs which have been successful in driving down new infections, increasing viral suppression rates, and providing much needed wrap-around services to people living with and at risk of HIV.”

The lawmakers continued, “Addressing the HIV epidemic in the U.S. will help our nation advance racial equity and meet the needs of underserved communities. Without rapid funding increases, the US epidemic will continue to outrun our response, increasing the long-term need for HIV treatment and increasing future costs.” 

The lawmakers specifically requested that President Biden’s FY2022 Budget Request include: 

  • Significant increases in funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative, which sets the goal of reducing new HIV infections by 50% by 2025, and 90% by 2030.
  • Urging Congress to eliminate the funding restriction for harm reduction programs like syringe service programs (SSPs) so that SSPs are fully supported.
  • Reestablishing the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). 

Our country has made great progress since the height of the AIDS epidemic. Since 2013, however, new cases of HIV have plateaued at around 37,000 new infections a year. HIV in the U.S. disproportionately impacts gay and bisexual men in communities of color, transgender women, and persons who inject drugs. 

HIV treatment, prevention, research, and housing programs funded through the federal government have been proven successful. However, years of stagnant funding have placed immense resource constraints on these programs and the services they are able to provide. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted all public health programs, especially infectious disease programs combatting HIV.

To read the full letter, click here. 

The letter was also signed by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (GU-00), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-01), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Mark Takano (CA-41), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), André Carson (IN-07), Scott Peters (CA-52), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Al Lawson (FL-05), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Gerald E. Connolly (VA11), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Paul D. Tonko (CA-41), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Judy Chu (CA-27)

Endorsed by: HealthHIV, NMAC, The AIDS Institute, NASTAD, AIDS United, HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute, National AIDS Housing Coalition, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, HIV Medicine Association, Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition, AVAC, African American Health Alliance, Drug Policy Alliance, National Black Justice Coalition, Human Rights Campaign, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Los Angeles LGBT Center, APLA Health, PFLAG National,  Equality California, Silver State Equality-Nevada, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families, National Black Women's HIV/AIDS Network, Inc., AIDS Alabama, CAEAR Coalition, Hennepin County, Minnesota, Global Justice Institute, Cascade AIDS Project, Trillium Health, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Grady Health System - Ponce de Leon Center, Trillium Health, National Coalition of STD Directors.