Congress voted to maintain HIV funding in its fiscal year 2024 spending package rejecting a Republican proposal to cut $767 million in HIV prevention, care and treatment money and eliminate the entire Ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. Program.

“While flat funding does not expand our efforts to prevent and treat HIV or get us closer to ending HIV, it is much better than the alternative we have been facing, which was cutting vital HIV services and jeopardizing people’s lives,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute.

The rejected House Republican proposed cuts included $542 million for the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, a historic effort to end HIV begun by former President Trump and continued by President Biden. This would have eliminated $220 million at the CDC; $165 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and $157 million from HRSA Community Health Centers that focus on PrEP. In addition, $74 million would have been cut from other parts of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, $32 million from the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund, and SAMHSA’s $117 million Minority AIDS programs.

In the final bill released today (March 21), all those programs would be maintained at level funding.

Funding for CDC’s hepatitis division would remain at only $43 million, the same level proposed in the president’s budget and supported by the House and Senate bills.

A funding increase of $6 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program was included as part of HUD’s FY2024 spending bill signed by the president on March 9.

— David Taffet