NBNA Shares: Congresswoman Waters Seeks Robust Funding for Domestic HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Programs in Fiscal Year 2016
Congresswoman Waters Seeks Robust Funding for Domestic HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Programs in Fiscal Year 2016
Leads 66 Members of Congress Seeking Increased Minority AIDS Initiative Funding
April 1, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), a congressional leader on HIV/AIDS issues, called for increases in funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs in fiscal year 2016. The proposed increases were included in two letters to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education 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 2016 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 provides funds to community based organizations for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, screening, and treatment in minority communities. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the initiative received $437 million in fiscal year 2013 and $425.4 million in fiscal year 2014. The letter, which Congresswoman Waters organized, was signed by a total of 66 Members of Congress.
"Racial and ethnic minorities are severely and disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States," said Congresswoman Waters and her colleagues in the letter. "All combined, racial and ethnic minorities represent a majority of new HIV infections, people living with HIV/AIDS, and deaths from AIDS."
The full text of the letter can be found online here:
Congresswoman Waters was also joined Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Jim McDermott (D-WA) as a co-leader of a letter urging the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations 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 57 Members of Congress and can be found online here:
"I am proud that so many of my colleagues have joined our urgent call for robust funding for HIV/AIDS research, prevention, screening, and treatment," said Congresswoman Waters. "With more than 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, we must do everything we can to care for those who have been infected and stop the spread of this disease."
Congresswoman Waters has been a strong 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 December 19, 2014, she sent a letter to the President urging him to include robust funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs in his budget request for Fiscal Year 2016. A total of 54 Members of Congress signed that letter. On February 5, 2015, she reintroduced the Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2015 (H.R. 768) to provide for an effective HIV/AIDS program in federal prisons. The bill now has 31 cosponsors.