In its proposed budget for 2022, the Biden administration requests an additional $267 million for the Ending the HIV Epidemic, an initiative started under the former administration. The initiative allocates funds for HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs across the country.
The administration’s request would build on the $400 million already allotted to the initiative since 2019, according to reports from the Washington Blade. Originally, its aim was to reduce new incidents of HIV infections by 90% by 2030, “although Biden campaigned on beating that goal by five years and ending the domestic HIV epidemic by 2025,” according to the Blade.
In the proposed budget, submitted on April 9th, the administration requested the additional funds “To help accelerate and strengthen efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.” The funds requested would “help aggressively reduce new HIV cases while increasing access to treatment, expanding the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (also known as PrEP), and ensuring equitable access to services and supports.”
The request is one of many made in the proposed budget, which also proposes funding to promote job creation, fight climate change, and invest in underserved communities. The proposal also seeks to obtain an additional $1.6+ billion for increasing access to mental health care, and an additional $1 billion to fight gender-based violence.
In a statement released on Twitter, Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, thanked President Biden “for demonstrating his commitment to ending #HIV in the United States by including this substantial funding increase in his budget to ramp up the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative.”
In a later Tweet, he stated, “While it falls short of what the community has requested, if this funding is realized it will continue the momentum already created & make further progress in ending #HIV in the U.S.”
@HIVHep’s Carl Schmid on the Biden admin.’s first preliminary budget: “While it falls short of what the community has requested, if this funding is realized it will continue the momentum already created & make further progress in ending #HIV in the U.S.”: https://t.co/cggaWj3eSn pic.twitter.com/7PVzstu0Xo
— HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute (@HIVHep) April 10, 2021
Since the request is part of a proposed budget, it’s likely that the final sum allocated by Congress will be less than what the administration is asking for. Last year, the Blade reports that former President Trump requested an additional $412 million for the initiative; Congress approved an increase of around $137 million.