Congresswoman Waters Seeks Robust Funding for Domestic HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Programs in Fiscal Year 2018
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and a congressional leader on HIV/AIDS issues, called for increases in funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs in fiscal year 2018. The proposed increases were included in two letters to leaders of the House Committee on Appropriations, which were signed by many of the Congresswoman’s congressional colleagues.
Congresswoman Waters’ first letter requested an appropriation of $610 million in fiscal year 2018 for the Minority AIDS Initiative, which was established under Congresswoman Waters’ leadership in 1998 to address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on racial and ethnic minorities. The Minority AIDS Initiative targets funds for HIV/AIDS prevention, screening, treatment, education, and outreach to minority communities heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the initiative received $427.1 million in FY 2016 and was projected to receive $426.3 million in FY 2017. The letter was signed by a total of 80 Members of Congress, led by Congresswoman Waters.
“Racial and ethnic minorities continue to be severely and disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United States,” said Congresswoman Waters and her colleagues in the letter. “Minorities represent the majority of new HIV infections, people living with HIV/AIDS, and deaths among people with HIV/AIDS.”
The full text of the letter can be found online here:
Congresswoman Waters also joined Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) as a co-leader of a letter urging appropriators to increase funding for several domestic HIV/AIDS programs. The letter requests increases in funding for HIV/AIDS care and treatment through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, HIV prevention programs, and HIV/AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This letter was signed by 96 Members of Congress and can be found online here:
“With more than one million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, Members of Congress must take every opportunity to support the research, prevention, screening, and treatment of this disease,” said Congresswoman Waters. “Our call for robust funding will better support at-risk communities and bring us closer to finally defeating HIV and AIDS.”
Congresswoman Waters has been a consistent advocate for HIV/AIDS response efforts throughout her tenure in Congress. In 1998, she spearheaded the establishment of the Minority AIDS Initiative and in subsequent years has continued to advocate for its robust funding. On April 4, 2017, she reintroduced the Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2017 (H.R. 1882) to provide for an effective HIV/AIDS program in federal prisons; the bill has 33 original cosponsors.