Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer
APLA Health Warns Community of Proposed National Cuts to HIV Healthcare Programs and LGBTQ+ Organizations
As Congress begins its month-long August recess, APLA Health urgently calls the community’s attention to the proposed draconian cuts to life-saving programs that target HIV, STDs, the Minority AIDS Initiative and, very specifically, the LGBTQ+ community.
The cuts were proposed in two Republican-led subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee. They span multiple programs, including $238.5 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, $226 million from the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and $32 million from the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund.
The proposed cuts also include an overall 18 percent reduction for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a 12 percent cut to Health and Human Services, and an 8 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health.
“The Ryan White Program, the Minority AIDS Initiative, and the national End the HIV Epidemic effort, started by President Donald Trump, have long enjoyed broad bipartisan support. No more!” said Craig E. Thompson, CEO of APLA Health.
“We are shocked by these outrageous proposals. In particular, the Minority AIDS Initiative addresses HIV in communities of color at a time when over 40 percent of new HIV infections every year occur among African Americans. These kinds of cuts would leave people living with HIV no place to turn for care, treatment, and the drugs they need to stay alive. This is especially true in the South with its outsized number of uninsured people due to continued resistance of Medicaid expansion in certain states.”
Currently, more than half of the 32,000 new HIV infections in the United States each year occur in the South, with over half of those cases affecting African Americans. This includes both gay and bisexual men as well as heterosexual women.
In a separate subcommittee action, Republicans sifted through some 2,700 appropriation requests for Community Project Funding (previously known as earmarks) and selected just three for elimination – two LGBTQ+ community centers in Pennsylvania and a senior LGBTQ+ housing project in Massachusetts.
“APLA Health was the recipient of Community Project Funding in last year’s Federal budget. This funding will be used to help expand our APLA Health Center in Long Beach and provide more care for people living with and at risk of HIV, including our transgender patients. This targeted action against three LGBTQ+ projects is just another example of the war far-right Republicans are waging against LGBTQ+ people nationwide,” Thompson said.
If the House and Senate cannot come to an agreement on appropriations by the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30th, the worst-case scenario would be government shutdown.
APLA Health restores dignity and trust within underserved communities by providing world-class LGBTQ+ empowering healthcare, support services, and HIV specialty care. Since 1983, APLA Health has remained steadfast in its commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our lifetime. The agency is a multi-site operation includes eight Federally Qualified health Center (FQHC) locations, serving more than 15,000 people annually in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous. We provide 20 different services including: medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV specialty care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home healthcare; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impact the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information on APLA Health visit https://aplahealth.org.