The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently approved an Appropriations Bill proposing to allocate $511 million to HIV-related care and services in FY 2020. Of this, $149 million is specifically allocated to funding HIV research, particularly in the areas of vaccines and cure. This contrasts sharply with the President’s proposed FY 2020 budget of $291 million for his “Ending the AIDS Epidemic” plan.
The House’s budget lines for increases for Ryan White services and Community Health Centers are intended to foster prevention, as well as treatment and care by providing PrEP and helping people living with HIV to achieve and maintain undetectable viral loads. Investment in CDC services similarly helps people get tested and into care. The budgeted $17 million to support Minority AIDS Initiative recognizes and responds to the disproportionate impact of the HIV in communities of color.
Rejecting the President’s budget request to cut NIH’s HIV research budget by $400,000,000, the House Committee voted instead to increase the research budget by $149 million to continue efforts to find effective HIV vaccines and/or a cure. In their report, they directed “NIH to increase funding for HIV/AIDS research by at least the same percentage as the increase in NIH overall funding.”
Senate Appropriations deliberations have just started and are likely to result in a different picture which will then have to be resolved between the two chambers.