Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Victory; Ryan White Part D is saved for FY 2015!!!!

Victory; Ryan White Part D is saved for FY 2015!!!!

Dec 23, 2014 — We won!!!! (For real this time!) In case you are not yet aware, on December 13, 2014, Congress approved the fiscal year 2015 funding bill (which contained several appropriations bills, including the Health Resources Services Administration that funds the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program). 

In the bill (which is in effect until September 30, 2015), the proposal to consolidate Ryan White Part C and Ryan White Part D was rejected. Ryan White Part D is NOT eliminated; it has been funded as a stand-alone program as in previous years! 

Thank you everyone, for your assistance in retaining these crucial services for women, infants, children, youth, and families living with HIV! Nearly 10,000 of you signed our petition and countless others supported this important cause, and it made a difference! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

However, though Ryan White Part D is safe for this fiscal year, it is important that these important services are maintained beyond merely one year. There are many organizations that are heavily involved in advocating for this cause, including Positive Women's Network-USA; the AIDS United Public Policy Committee; the AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children & Youth (a program of the AIDS Institute), and others. 

Please connect with an organization and stay informed so that we can #SaveRyanWhitePartD for the long term!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


EXCITING NEWS!!!! The US Senate Appropriations Committee has released its final Fiscal Year 2015 bill. On page 39 of the bill summary, it explicitly states that the committee rejects the consolidation of Ryan White Parts C and D as proposed by the administration. YAY!!! Though this bill still has to go before the house, this is extremely promising news. Thanks to all of you, we are one step closer to saving Ryan White Part D!

***Review the bill summary (on page 39) here

***Review the Fiscal Year 2015 Ryan White Part D "forecast" Funding Opportunity Announcement here

And below  is a press release issued today about all of this from The AIDS Institute:

National Policy Office - Washington, DC: 202-835-8373
Program and Administrative Office - Tampa, FL: 813-258-5929

For Immediate Release: 12.10.14  

Media Contact:  Carl Schmid: (202) 669-8267 cschmid@theaidsinstitute.org

Maintains Funding for Care and Treatment in the Ryan White Program &
HIV and Hepatitis Prevention at the CDC

Washington, DC – “The AIDS Institute commends the strong bi-partisan support to combatting HIV/AIDS in the United States by the U.S. Congress by maintaining funding for critically important domestic HIV programs for fiscal year 2015,” commented Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.  “Given the overall difficult budget restrictions, we are grateful for the Congress’ continued attention to preventing infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis, and the need to provide care, treatment, and housing to people living with HIV/AIDS.”

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides some degree of health care, medications, and coverage completion services to roughly 554,000 low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals with HIV/AIDS.  The Congress is proposing to maintain funding at $2.3 billion in FY15, including $900 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.  The continuing need for the Program was underscored by recent CDC data that found only 30 percent of people with HIV in the U.S. are virally suppressed, and only 37 percent are prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART). 

The AIDS Institute is pleased the Congress rejected a proposal included in the President’s budget that would have eliminated dedicated funding for Part D of the Ryan White Program and transferred it to Part C.  Part D provides care and services for low-income women, infants, children, and youth with HIV and AIDS.

The Congress has agreed to allocate about $787 million for HIV prevention at the CDC, a very slight decrease from the prior year. There continue to be about 50,000 new HIV infections each year and that number has not decreased for many years. The federal government allocates only 4 percent of its domestic HIV spending to prevention.

Funding for Hepatitis Prevention at the CDC would remain at approximately $31 million. The AIDS Institute is extremely disappointed that the Congress did not increase its investment in hepatitis prevention given the magnitude of the number of infections in the U.S. and the need for increased surveillance, testing, and education in order to bring down the number of new infections and help people learn of their status.  Increased testing would help people with hepatitis B and C by linking them to care and treatment, and hopefully, cure them. 

Funding for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) would continue to be funded at $330 million.  Ongoing medical research at the National Institutes of Health under the bill would increase slightly by only $150 million.  

Regrettably, the Congress is not following the scientific evidence but rather will continue the funding ban on syringe exchange programs and will fund abstinence-only until marriage programs.  

“Now that the 113th Congress is coming to a close, The AIDS Institute must soon turn its attention to a new Congress,” commented Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The  AIDS Institute.  “But before we do, we would like to recognize that Senate and House Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriation Subcommittee Chairmen Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Jack Kingston will be leaving the Congress.  The AIDS Institute thanks both of them for their service and leadership.  We particularly salute Chairman Harkin for being a long-time health care champion and a strong voice for people with disabilities, including people with HIV and AIDS.  We will certainly miss his leadership,” concluded Ruppal.

The AIDS Institute is a national nonprofit organization that promotes action for social change through public policy research, advocacy and education.

For more information and to become involved, visit www.TheAIDSInstitute.org or write to us at Info@theaidsinstitute.org, and follow The AIDS Institute on Twitter @AIDSAdvocacy and Facebook at www.facebook.com/The-AIDS-Institute.