June 28, 2023
What’s on the Horizon for HIV Funding
The last issue of the Voice highlighted the impact of debt ceiling negotiations on HIV funding. Now Congress has turned its attention to the annual appropriations process. Under a divided Congress, finding common ground on a budget is often difficult. But what is different this year is the magnitude of funding cuts being proposed by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
Specifically, proposed funding for fiscal year 2024 (FY’24) within the purview of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittee of Appropriations—which includes the majority of HIV-related funding—are an incredible 29 percent lower than FY’23. Proposed funding for programs under the purview of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, which includes funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program, are more than 25 percent lower than FY’23.
The Senate has proposed significantly different allocations, with a proposed six percent reduction from FY’23 dollars for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (a $48.1 billion difference between House and Senate allocations). The proposal includes a 0.87 percent increase for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (a $22.9 billion difference between House and Senate allocations).
Presumably, common ground will be negotiated behind the scenes by a “Conference Committee”—an ad hoc panel of House and Senate conferees. One thing is certain, though: Funding for HIV prevention, treatment and care is at risk. Readers should expect a very challenging appropriations process, including the potential for new and additional funding riders that are tacked onto the final budget bill and result in restrictions, such as the current ban on using federal funds on syringes for syringe exchange programs. The Academy remains committed to protecting funding and will continue to advocate for such with members of Congress.