Senator Tammy Baldwin calls for federal funding for HIV/AIDS

It comes as the nation recognizes the 25th anniversary of National HIV Testing Day

LA CROSSE, Wis (WKBT) – Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is calling for federal funding for HIV/AIDS in the next coronavirus pandemic response package.

It comes as the nation recognizes the 25th anniversary of National HIV Testing Day.

Baldwin’s plan asks for more than 700 million dollars to go to programs for treatment, prevention, and housing for those affected with the disease.

Specifically:

  •  $500 million for HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program: Funding to support Ryan White Program providers and community-based organizations who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Services and resources provided by this program include telehealth services, case management services, medications (prescription and over-the-counter), behavioral health services, and access to basic necessities, such as food and shelter. The additional funding for this program will also help people living with HIV and AIDS maintain access to care and treatment; meet the new needs of people living with HIV and AIDS who are without health insurance; keep clinics open and providers employed; and prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.
  •   $100 million for CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention: Funding to support core HIV prevention activities, personnel to respond to COVID-19, HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) initiations, and telehealth services at state and local health departments and community-based organizations.
  • $65 million for HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program: Funding to support housing and rental assistance for people living with AIDS to promote the safety of clientsfamilies, and the community.
  •  $58 million for CDC’s Infectious Disease and Opioid Program and Ending the Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Service Programs: Funding to support Syringe Services Programs (SSPs), one of the most effective ways to prevent drug overdoses, as well as engage and serve individuals who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic already has resulted in increased drug overdoses, homelessness, and unemployment, and now is the time to end the ban on federal funding for syringes and other supplies, and support infectious diseases and opioid programs at the CDC. Clients trust SSPs as care providers and sources of support including shelter, food, health care, and access to medication-assisted treatment.

In a letter sent to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Baldwin and her group said, “Additional support for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and housing programs is critical for ensuring that we can respond to two different pandemics that have impacted millions of Americans.”

19 other senators have signed on to the letter.

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