Monday, March 16, 2015

Sample Tweets for #SaveRyanWhitePartD All-Day Social Media Event, happening TOMORROW!

(Feel free to copy, paste, & use all of these!)

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov @WhiteHouse Over 29% of ppl receiving #RyanWhite are #women & NEED targeted services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov We must #SaveRyanWhitePartD as it serves over 1/3 of ALL #women in the #RyanWhite prgrm! #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D=yrs of culturally competent care 2 #women, #families w/#HIV #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov “Aren’t #women & #families w/#HIV worth it?” #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov “Don’t gut services for #women w/#HIV!” #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Support svcs aren’t extras; retain #women & #youth w/#HIV in care #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Why are #women & #youth w/#HIVon the chopping block? #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D services save lives & strengthen #women &families! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov It’s too early w/#ACA to change #RyanWhite; need more time, data. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov #RyanWhite retains ~3/4 of #women w/#HIV in care! Build, don’t cut! #SaveRyanWhitePartD
#SaveRyanWhitePartD bcz it WORKS! 90% reduction in perinatal #HIV transmission. @Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

#SaveRyanWhitePartD bcz transgender #women of color are 1.5X more likely to be #HIV + than other grps! @Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D is a care entrypoint for many #women & #youth w/#HIV. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part C providers do not have the expertise to serve #HIV + #women & #families as Part D does. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D’s community-based services for #women & #youth w/#HIV are effective and save lives! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov #Prioritize #women w/#HIV across ALL of #RyanWhite; Part D=model #SaveRyanWhitePartD

#pwnspeaks: “Services for #women w/#HIV are NOT disposable!” #SaveRyanWhitePartD .@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov “What about #women & #families? #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov If we want to #EndVAWHIV, we need to retain #women w/#HIV in care, NOT cut services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Congress rejected this proposal last year; why is it back again? #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Reauthorization = changes to Pt D, not budget appropriations! #HIV #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Stop speaking FOR us; LISTEN to the community! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Don’t# women, #youth, & #families w/#HIV matter? #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Don’t take services away from the most vulnerable communities! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

~20% of #transgender #women <24 yrs are #HIV+ & need targeted #youth services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD .@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov We will NOT Get2Zero by cutting services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D: ONLY part of #RyanWhite mandated 2 provide #HIV research info to #families w/#HIV! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D has years of success; DO NOT cut it! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

Do not solve administrative issues by cutting vital programs! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Pt D =6% of the budget; serves 1/3 +all #women in #RyanWhite! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

Part D grooms leaders & provides critical support to #women & #families! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV @Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Pt D’s vital support svcs keep #women & #youth in care! #HIV #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Thx to Pt D, many #HIV + #women are in care; have #HIV - babies. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Involve community b4 making HUGE changes to crucial prgms! #HIV #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Thousands of ppl in the community OPPOSE this proposal! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov #Women & #youth w/#HIV deserve targeted services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov #Women w/#HIV deserve the right to have input about important decisions that impact our lives! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Part D has been a model for coordinated care since the ‘90’s! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

>2% of US babies #HIV+ 2day thx to Part D; don’t punish success! #SaveRyanWhitePartD .@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Perinatal #HIV is low, but #women & #youth STILL HERE; need targeted services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov How can Pt C replicate 18 yrs of Pt D successes? #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Pt D supports family so ppl living w/@HIV can thrive! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

Without Part D, it is likely many #HIV + #women & #youth will fall out of care. #SaveRyanWhitePartD .@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov
.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov No Part D? Lose many gains made w/ #women & #youth w/#HIV. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Don’t sacrifice #women & #families for the sake of “efficiency!” #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov #Women, #youth & #families MATTER!!! We need targeted services! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Rates of #HIV among #youth & teens are too high to risk losing Part D! #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov When 3 out of 4 women w/#HIV has experienced violence, you do not gut services; you expand. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Wait until reauthorization b4 changing #RyanWhite! #SaveRyanWhitePartD #HIV

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Trusted #HIV policy orgs: “Keep #RyanWhite program AS IS 4 now.” #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov To #EndVAWHIV keep #women w/#HIV in care w/supports; address family unit. #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Have we already forgotten ACTG 076 (which many Part D clinics were research sites)? #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Are #women #HIV a priority? NHAS, NWGHAAD snub, cutting Part D? #SaveRyanWhitePartD

.@Congressdotgov @HRSAgov Treatment is prevention! #SaveRyanWhitePartD so we can keep women in care & #Get2Zero.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Women's Collective's Part D Statement

(This post was taken entirely from a post written by The Women's Collective, available HERE.)
President Obama’s FY2016 Budget Proposal to Consolidate Ryan White Parts C & D
Full Statement
Ryan White Part D provides life-saving family-centered primary and specialty medical care and support services, women, infants, children and youth living with HIV/AIDS. This component of the Ryan White program has invested much needed resources to build service provider capacity to ensure women have access to quality, culturally competent, linguistically appropriate core medical and support services so that they and their loved ones can enjoy healthy, meaningful and productive lives.
As the only AIDS Service organization in the District of Columbia solely dedicated to providing direct services for women living with and at risk for HIV, and their families, The Women’s Collective is once again deeply concerned the President’s FY 2016 budget proposes to consolidate Part C and Part D of the Ryan White with program. The President’s budget zeroes out Part D, for a reduction of $75,088,000 below the FY 2015 funding level. However, the President’s budget increases the Part C allocation by $79, 088,000. Presumably, this increase represents a transfer of the Part D monies of $75,088,000 and an increase of $400,000 above the FY 2015. If implemented without the requisite assurances, the proposed consolidation will dismantle the solid infrastructure Part D providers have built up in underserved urban and rural geographic areas where the HIV infections among women and co-morbidities are rapidly escalating.
In the District of Columbia (DC) women account for 27% of the HIV epidemic, with heterosexual sex as predominant mode of transmission; in DC Black women who reported heterosexual contact as the primary mode of transmission represent the second-largest group (16%), after Black MSM. There continues to be significant racial disparities; blacks are the disproportionally affected population, representing nearly 75% of new infections but only 47% of District residents. The HIV prevalence for black women (93%) was nearly 5 times greater than that of Hispanic women and nearly 25 times greater than that of white women. According to the President’s own Federal Interagency Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, and Gender-related Health Disparities, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and HIV are intersecting epidemics that have far-reaching health consequences for women in the United States, particularly for women of color, who already face a long list of health and social disparities. This situation calls for novel, but also immediate, ways to address gaps, and provide successful prevention & treatment for women along the continuum care. Now is not the time for this Administration that has made so much progress on HIV/AIDS to dismantle the Part D program.
The Women’s Collective serves women of color in the District and beyond. When clients walk through The Women’s Collective doors they are thinking about much more than their HIV care. All of these women have sexual and reproductive health rights; these women have faced childhood and adulthood trauma that probably put them at risk for HIV in the first place; they experience violence, they are homeless, they have little or no income. Many women learn they are HIV-positive during pregnancy, with Part D services ensuring that they were connected & retained in care.
The American healthcare landscape has changed considerably in recent years, most significantly with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Mother-to child transmission has almost been completely eradicated, and treatment as prevention offers great promise to prevent transmission and improve health outcomes of women living with HIV. Even with these advancements, between 8,000 and 9, 000 HIV+ women become pregnant each year. The redirection of limited resources focused women, children, and youth appears misguided to us Should the proposed budget move forward, we demand assurances of sustained investment of Ryan White dollars in existing Part D grantees and the clients they serve.
1. Deliberate and specific language that protects Part D funds transferred to Pard C, so that these monies continue to be dedicated solely to women, children and youth.
2. Description of procedures and quality measures to ensure women will have access to and make use of services allocated for them.
3. Immediate consultation with all impacted by the proposed consolidation. Sadly, it is very clear that the Administration neither sought input nor informed partners before the proposal was included in the FY 2016 budget.
What steps will the White House, in in coordination with HRSA, take to explain the rationale for the consolidation to grantees and external community stakeholders?
What happens to all the Part D services that would not meet the program eligibility for consolidated Part C grant funding?
The Women’s Collective is advocating for the preservation of Ryan White in its entirety for a simple reason that we are witness to lives that have literally been salvaged because there has been a payer of last resort. A soon to be released Women’s Collective White Paper will outline policy priorities, informed be by the voices of the women we serve, to guide healthcare access policy for women living with HIV. Recommendations will consider new needs assessment data and address emerging needs that continue to be rooted in and perpetuated by racial, ethnic and gender based health inequities. We strongly urge HRSA/ HAB to consider our recommendations, and to meaningfully engage the diverse community of women, service providers, activists and policy advocates who are on the frontlines and serving and representing women who have rely on the Ryan White program.
Policy & Advocacy Department
1331 Rhode Island Avenue NE
Washington DC 20018

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Join the #SaveRyanWhitePartD All-Day Social Media Event on March 17, 2015!!!

PLEASE join in a virtual all-day social media event happening the week after National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The date is tentatively set for March 17, 2015, but we are open to date suggestions for a few more days as well as co-endorsing organizations, especially HIV advocacy groups and agencies focused on social justice, public health, human rights, etc. We need you!

For the second year in a row, the President's budget has proposed to ELIMINATE targeted services for HIV+ women, infants, children, youth, and HIV affected families served by the Ryan White Part D program. The combined efforts of global community advocates stopped them once; we can do it AGAIN! We MUST do it again!

From midnight to midnight, let's cover social media with messages about the importance of retaining these critical family-centered HIV services, using the hashtage #SaveRyanWhitePartD along with any other hashtags relevant to your particular tweet, status, or post (i.e. #womenshealth, #girlslikeus, etc). You can help promote this issue by sharing about it on various social media platforms - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, tumblr, Instagram, etc. ANYONE can participate; it is important to have both people living with HIV and allies involved.

We will be creating some sample tweets and statuses that anyone can modify for their use if they aren't certain what to say. We will also provide some suggested targets if you want to direct your tweets to certain Part D and/or budget appropriations decision makers. (You can create and schedule your tweets/statuses/posts ahead of time if you won't have availability on that day; we'll post a link explaining how to do so for those who might be unfamiliar.)

Positive women, youth, and their affected families don't disappear once NWGHAAD has come and gone; and these services shouldn't be disappearing either.  Please unite with us to ensure that these important services remain intact. And please share this WIDELY!

(Want more info? Feel free to visit for more information on these efforts. Additionally, a great, concise list of talking points created by PWN-USA is available at:

Thursday, February 12, 2015


(This post is derived in its entirety from a Public Comment made to the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS [PACHA] by Vanessa Johnson, JD on behalf of the Positive Women's Network-USA, available also HERE.)


Comments on Proposed Consolidation of Ryan White Part D into Ryan White Part C
Provided to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA)
February 12, 2015

Good afternoon. My name is Vanessa Johnson, and I stand before you on behalf of Positive Women’s Network – USA, a national membership body of over 3000 women living with HIV, inclusive of transgender women, throughout the U.S. We also have seven formally affiliated regional chapters which operate at the state and local level. I am here to express our grave concern about the proposed consolidation of Ryan White Part D into Part C in the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 proposed budget. We strongly oppose this consolidation. It is important to note that last year Congress rejected this very same proposed consolidation.
Part D of the Ryan White Program provides family-centered primary and specialty medical care and supportive services to underinsured women, infants, children and youth living with HIV. These are women and young people who are likely to be juggling caregiving responsibilities and challenges accessing care. While not all women living with HIV are eligible to receive care through Part D, more than 90,000 women, young people and family members access Part D services each year. These programs often function as crucial entry points into care for underinsured women – and youth, the fastest growing population living with HIV in the U.S.
The consolidation of Ryan White Part D into Part C has the potential to roll back progress toward all goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: to reduce HIV-related health disparities, improve retention in care and health outcomes for people with HIV, and reduce new HIV cases.
ACA implementation is currently underway; the Ryan White Program should remain stable while stakeholders take the time needed to assess how these and other services may most effectively complement the ACA in meeting the care needs of people with HIV, and the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Consolidating Ryan White Part D into Part C has the potential to radically destabilize existing comprehensive care models created by Part D programs.
The Ryan White Program is successful at retaining people with HIV in care. It should be maintained intact, not eliminated, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes the landscape of care. Only 41% of women living with HIV nationally are retained in care, according to CDC’s HIV care continuum. However, the Ryan White Program effectively retains 77% of its female clients in care, according to the most recent available report by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Ryan White Part D has also helped drastically reduce rates of vertical HIV transmission through proactive outreach and coordinated care for pregnant women living with HIV and their families. Eliminating Part D could negatively impact both outcomes by expanding expand gaps in the HIV care continuum, at a time when we have made real progress. Further, sexual and reproductive health services for women living with HIV of all ages require specialty expertise, and it is not clear how the scope and quality of these services may vary throughout the other parts of the Ryan White program.
Programs delivering services that are essential for many women and their families to engage in care are at risk of being cut under the proposed elimination of Part D. To read a quote from Morenike Giwa Onaiwu, a mother and advocate from Houston, Texas:
The course of my life changed forever when my family became affected by HIV in 2007. .... Ryan White Part D services … have been a lifeline for our family.
We have benefited from Part D services like medical case management, linkage to mental health treatment, transportation assistance, and educational programs … with staff that provides all services in an inclusive, respectful, and culturally competent way. With Ryan White Part D, the services focus on how to help the whole family, recognizing that it’s not just about the person who is living with HIV. It’s truly a family-centered medical home model.
… It’s not just about access to medicine, although that’s so important. It’s also about connecting with other families affected by HIV. For my children, who are growing up in an HIV affected family, it’s about meeting other affected and/or positive youth and supporting each other. It’s about learning to hold your head up high, to refuse to be ashamed of this disease and the stigma it carries, to learn to be an advocate for yourself and your family.
If Part D becomes subsumed under Part C, there is a risk that community-based providers like the one described above, who have developed years of culturally relevant expertise and community-level approaches that are key to reducing health disparities, may not be funded to provide these services. Although some Part D programs are dually funded by Ryan White Part C, there may be some Part D grantees that are not eligible to apply for Part C funding.
Ryan White Part D is a vital source of funding for services focused on women and families. However, it is also necessary that women's unique needs be addressed across all parts of the Ryan White Program, and across the full spectrum of HIV care and services in the U.S.
We request that the PACHA release a statement that all parts of the Ryan White program should remain intact as Affordable Care Act implementation is underway, and specifically opposing the proposed consolidation of Ryan White Part D into Part C. Administrative concerns should not be solved by cutting essential programs for women living with HIV.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ryan White. Real Lives.

(This post is derived in its entirety from a post on the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance website for the #RyanWhiteTreatmentWorks campaign, available HERE.)

Ryan White. Real Lives. Meet Morenike Giwa

 | February 10, 2015
Texas ranks 4th in the nation in deaths among adults with an HIV diagnosis. The State of Texas has not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. As a result, an estimated 11,200 of the lowest-income HIV+ residents of Texas have been left out of coverage available in other states. They must rely on Ryan White funding for crucial medical care and other supportive services.  In 2011, an estimated 38,978 Texans received services through the Ryan White program.

Morénike GiwaMorenike Giwa
Houston, TX
The course of my life changed forever when my family became affected by HIV in 2007. I was afraid and unsure how to proceed — there was so much to keep track of with doctor’s appointments, medicine regimens, plus the mental stress and stigma of being part of a family dealing with HIV. Ryan White Part D services and the Texas HIV Medication Program (our state AIDS Drug Assistance Program) have been a lifeline for our family.
We have benefited from Part D services like medical case management, linkage to mental health treatment, transportation assistance, and educational programs. Several local Ryan White providers are offered in beautiful facilities with many great programs, and even more importantly, staff that provides all services in an inclusive, respectful, and culturally competent way. With Ryan White Part D, the services focus on how to help the whole family, recognizing that it’s not just about the person who is living with HIV. It’s truly a family-centered medical home model.
The Texas HIV Medication Program (THMP) has been critical in helping us maintain access to life-saving medications when we have experienced gaps in insurance coverage. THMP has allowed our family to stay adherent to the prescribed medications, maintain an undetectable viral load, and avoid treatment interruptions that can lead to developing a drug-resistant strain of HIV.
I shudder to think what would happen to families like mine without the Ryan White Program. It’s not just about access to medicine, although that’s so important. It’s also about connecting with other families affected by HIV. For my children, who are growing up in an HIV affected family, it’s about meeting other affected and/or positive youth and supporting each other. It’s about learning to hold your head up high, to refuse to be ashamed of this disease and the stigma it carries, to learn to be an advocate for yourself and your family.
My children are the heart of our family, and they are growing up free of HIV stigma. They are six amazing young people—four of whom came home to us from three different African countries, and two who were born in the U.S. Without the support of Ryan White Program services, particularly Part D, we would never have been able to grow and thrive as a family as well as we have. I now know that HIV isn’t the end of the story; it’s merely a new beginning. My family has been transformed by Ryan White services—please keep this crucially important program intact.

Take action now!

Co-sponsors: AIDS United, Southern AIDS Strategy Initiative, Southern AIDS Coalition, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School,, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
This campaign has been made possible by the generous support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Monday, February 9, 2015

AIDS Alliance: President Obama's FY 2016 Budget Eliminates Funding for Women, Infants, Children and Youth Living with HIV/AIDS

(This post is derived in its entirety from a press release of the AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth, & Families, also available HERE.)

For Immediate Release: February 9, 2015  
Media Contact: Dr. Ivy Turnbull: (202) 754-1858 
President Obama's FY 2016 Budget Eliminates Funding for Women, Infants, Children and Youth Living with HIV/AIDS
Washington, DC - For the second time, President Obama has eliminated funding for Ryan White Part D, the program funded solely for the purpose of providing family-centered primary medical care and support services for women, including HIV positive pregnant women, infants, children and youth, from his FY 2016 budget and proposed moving the funding to the Early Intervention Services program, (Part C). The President proposed eliminating funding for this vital program in his FY 2015 budget. However, Congress rejected the proposal and approved $75,297,000 for Part D.

"It is deeply troubling that the President would for the second time eliminate funding for Part D from his FY 2016 budget particularly since there are still so many unanswered questions and concerns regarding the implementation of the proposed Part C/D consolidation," commented Dr. Ivy Turnbull, Deputy Executive Director of the AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families (AIDS Alliance). "Furthermore, we are at a critical time in the fight against this epidemic and if we believe that we can win this war on HIV/AIDS, then surely we know how essential it is to maintain the Ryan White Program and all of its Parts."

Ryan White Part D is often referred to as the lifeline for women, infants, children and youth living with HIV/AIDS. Since 1988, the Part D programs have been and continue to be the entry point into medical care for women and youth. The family-centered primary medical and supportive services provided by Part D funded programs are uniquely tailored to address the needs of women, including HIV positive pregnant women, HIV exposed infants, children and youth.

"The Ryan White Part D Program has been an invaluable lifeline for my family," commented Morenike Giwa, AIDS Alliance Advisory Board Member from Houston, Texas. "Initially afraid and unsure how to proceed, this vital program has offered so much support for us since diagnosis, helping to achieve and maintain viral suppression and a positive life outlook. It truly changed our lives. As a Part D consumer, I know that the program's family-centered, integrated model of care and support services truly works. It is an important gateway into care for those of us who need it most - women, youth, and families. Consolidating Ryan White Part D into Part C in this manner will hurt families like mine tremendously."

Ryan White Part D programs have been extremely effective in bringing the most vulnerable populations into and retained in care. Removing Part D from the Ryan White program would dismantle systems of care created for our most vulnerable populations. Many of the populations served by Part D will be lost or never enter into care thus increasing the existing gaps in the HIV Care Continuum. Moreover, major program changes that are this controversial should be left to Congress and certainly should wait until we better understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the populations served by the Ryan White program.
"Although we applaud the President for keeping his commitment to the domestic HIV/AIDS crisis we are calling on Congress to again reject the President's FY 2016 proposal and approve funding for Ryan White Part D," commented, Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute and AIDS Alliance"
 AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families is a national program of

 For more information or to become involved please contact:
Dr. Ivy Turnbull, Deputy Executive Director, AIDS Alliance at:

Friday, February 6, 2015

AIDS United Continues to Oppose the Consolidation of Part C and Part D

(This post is taken from the AIDS United Policy Action Center Blog, also available HERE.)

President Releases FY 2016 Budget Proposal

2015-02-06 | AIDS United
President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget proposal this week, calling for overall funding increases, including flat funding and modest increases for HIV programs. The total budget is $4.1 trillion in discretionary and mandatory spending. Funding for discretionary programs, or programs that must be appropriated each year by Congress, was increased by about $74 billion and is divided between $605 billion for defense discretionary funding and $563 billion for non-defense discretionary spending, which covers all federal funding for domestic HIV programs.
President Obama’s FY 2016 budget proposed either flat funding (at FY 2015 levels) or, in a few cases, modest increases for the domestic HIV portfolio. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, which covers a majority of domestic HIV/AIDS programs, would receive a total of $83.8 billion. The President’s budget once again called for the consolidation of Ryan White Program Parts C and D, which would receive a $4 million increase as a single program. All other parts of the Ryan White Program are flat funded in the proposal. AIDS United continues to oppose the consolidation of Part C and Part D and will advocate Congress not to include this consolidation in their appropriation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) received a $6.4 million increase, and the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) received $6.3 million increase. The CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention received a $44 million increase. Viral Hepatitis received $31.5 million increase doubling the portfolio, the funding will align with the HHS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research receives a $90 million increase from FY 2015 in the president’s budget. Abstinence-only programs do not receive funding for either discretionary or mandatory programs in the budget proposal. Title X family planning programs received an increase of $13.5 million. Although the president’s numbers show a decrease for Community Health Centers (CHCs), the CHCs are actually flat funded for FY 2016 because they retain $869 million in reserve funds from FY 2015. The FY 2015 reserve funding was intended to be used for Fiscal Years 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program received a $2 million increase and President Obama included his proposal to modernize the HOPWA program by changing the formula to count living HIV, fair market rent and poverty factors.
Secretary Burwell stated that the HHS budget is designed to build on President Obama’s plan to strengthen the middle class. Aside from the HIV-specific portfolio, the budget would save $423 billion over ten years by slowing Medicare spending. It also expands access to affordable quality healthcare, invests $4.2 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding for the Community Health Centers, proposes an increase of $1 billion to the National Institutes of Health, and extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which needs to be reauthorized by Congress this year. The proposal would also permanently address the so-called “Doc Fix” by structuring the budget under the assumption that Congress will repeal the controversial Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.
As in past years, the Obama Administration’s budget requests that communities be allowed to make the decision to use federal funding for syringe exchange in conjunction with local law and health authorities. Unfortunately, the new Congress seems likely to continue the outdated and ineffective ban on the use of federal funds for syringe exchange.