Joana Casas, Program Communications Manager
amfAR Welcomes Continued AIDS Funding in President's Budget Proposal, Including Important Increase for PEPFAR and HIV/AIDS Research
Domestic AIDS research, prevention efforts receive boost
NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2015 – amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, welcomed the clear demonstration of sustained support for domestic and global efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in President Obama’s proposed FY2016 budget. The Foundation specifically lauded the Administration’s commitment to supporting research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as additional resources for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to extend its Impact Fund to strategically reduce HIV infections among populations at greatest risk globally.
“We are encouraged that these budget proposals are setting the stage for a more strategic and effective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. and abroad,” said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR’s chief executive officer. “We are particularly heartened by President Obama’s commitment toward greater investments in research. In light of recent flat funding in the last decade of federal budgets for biomedical research, which includes HIV/AIDS science, this is certainly a welcome change.”
The budget proposal requested $3.1 billion for trans-National Institutes of Health (NIH) AIDS research, which increases funding by $100 million above the FY 2015 level. Though the investment in NIH is an important first step, amfAR also supports current congressional proposals to increase funding for NIH, such as the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act or the Medical Innovation Act.
“Our country’s investments in AIDS research have paid enormous dividends in lifesaving treatments and HIV prevention interventions, and have also led to important advances in HIV cure research,” added Frost. “It’s important that the President and the U.S. Congress uphold this commitment and increase funding at the NIH’s Office of AIDS Research to ultimately help us find a cure for this disease.”
Bilateral HIV funding through PEPFAR is at $4.3 billion, roughly the same amount allocated for the program last year. An additional $300 million was proposed in the bilateral HIV funding budget to create the Impact Fund, which will bolster PEPFAR’s current efforts to strategically focus on geographic areas and populations deeply affected by HIV/AIDS. The funds will allow PEPFAR to improve site monitoring, strengthen program quality, and scale up core interventions to maximize impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The Administration’s contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is $1.107 billion in FY2016, the maximum that the U.S. can pledge this year to meet the U.S. replenishment pledge amount of $4.1 billion to the Global Fund from 2014 to 2016.
The domestic budget expands access to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities and supports the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce HIV incidence; increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with HIV; and reduce HIV-related health disparities.
“These important investments in domestic HIV demonstrate the Administration’s strong commitment to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” said Greg Millett, amfAR’s vice president and director of public policy. “In particular, funding to support state planning efforts to address HIV will help states follow in the footsteps of New York State and others that have completed or are in the midst of completing scientifically based plans to end HIV in their jurisdictions.”
The domestic budget calls for increased funding of HIV prevention programs by $12.6 million, with $2.5 million specifically dedicated to supporting state efforts to develop integrated HIV plans across the Continuum of Care. The budget also maintains critical funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance program, which both provides essential support to help people with HIV avoid interruptions in treatment as they migrate to new coverage provided by the ACA, and provides assistance to help low-income uninsured people with HIV access more sustainable and affordable health coverage previously out of reach to them.
The proposed budget also consolidates the Ryan White Part C and D program, which will help to optimize and focus critical resources on strengthening the capacity of Ryan White clinics to serve the needs of women, youth (particularly young men who have sex with men), and other populations with unique needs to keep them engaged in care and treatment.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, 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 nearly $400 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.
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