amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

The Effect of Budget Sequestration on HIV/AIDS in the United States: Projecting the Human Impact in Fiscal Year 2013

amfAR and NMAC have recalculated estimates of the human impact of budget sequestration on the response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic. The new figures reflect calculations by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a 5.0% across-the-board funding cut to most non-defense discretionary programs, imposed on March 1.1 Our original issue brief on this topic is available here.

Applying sequestration cuts to domestic HIV/AIDS programming will provide negligible deficit reduction, but will have a devastating impact on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in America. It will also damage American leadership in health research, and limit the United States’ ability to reduce the rate of new HIV infections, improve access to care, and reduce the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on communities of color.

As a result of sequestration:

  • 8,610 Americans living with HIV/AIDS will lose access to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides life-saving medication to low-income PLWHA. Recent research has shown that, in addition to saving and improving the lives of PLWHA, HIV treatment can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to an uninfected partner by 96 percent. 
  • 5,540 people of color will lose access to ADAP services. 
  • Under the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA), which provides housing and supportive assistance to PLWHA who are unable to afford housing,  1,530 fewer households will receive permanent housing and 1,640 fewer households will receive short-term assistance to prevent homelessness. Research demonstrates a direct relationship between improved housing status and reduced HIV risk behaviors.  
  • 1,890 households that include at least one person of color will lose HOPWA housing services; 570 households that include at least one Hispanic person will lose housing services.  
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 30 years, will lose $153.7 million in AIDS research funding. 280 AIDS research grants will go unfunded, including 31 specifically funding AIDS vaccine research. It is estimated that AIDS research funded by the NIH has led to a gain of more than 14.4 million life-years globally since 1995. 
  • Over $39.3 million will be cut from state and local HIV prevention efforts funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including efforts targeting young people and adults at high risk of infection. Among other programs, prevention efforts support testing to help identify the 18 percent of Americans living with HIV who do not know they are infected. 

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR), is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment, education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $340 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. For more information, please visit

The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) represents a coalition of faith based and community based organizations as well as AIDS service organizations advocating and delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide. Since 1987, NMAC has developed leadership in communities of color through a variety of advocacy campaigns, public policy education programs, national conferences, research programs, capacity building, technical assistance and trainings, and digital and electronic resource materials. For more information visit

1OMB. (March 1, 2013). OMB report to the Congress on the Joint Committee sequestration for Fiscal Year 2013. (p. 1) Available online at