HHS awarded more than $2.2 billion to cities, counties, states and community-based organizations to deliver HIV/AIDS care, support services and medication, the agency said Thursday.
The grants will go to participants in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, which provides care and treatment to low-income people with HIV. The program helps about half of all people diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. According to HHS, it helped control the virus in nearly 9 in 10 people in 2018, up from less than 7 in 10 people in 2010. The program aims to reduce new HIV infections in the U.S. by 90% by 2030. HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration runs the program.
The "Ryan White HIV/AIDS program plays a pivotal role in improving health outcomes for Americans with HIV and has helped lay the groundwork for our initiative to end the HIV epidemic by 2030," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. "More than $2 billion in grants through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program in 2020 are helping to continue the program's incredible track record of viral suppression that saves lives, keeps communities healthy and slows the spread of the virus."
According to the agency, nearly $627 million will go to 52 metropolitan areas to "provide core medical and support services for people with HIV." Another $1.3 billion will boost the quality, availability and organization of HIV care and support services, as well as HIV drug coverage for low-income people with limited or no health coverage. Nearly 350 community-based organizations will receive about $180 million to deliver medical and support services to people living with HIV.
Additional funding will support HIV care for women and children, education and clinical training, oral health services, quality improvement and new care models, and the development of evidence-based interventions.
President Donald Trump called for ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. in 10 years during his State of the Union address last year. Many stakeholders were skeptical of the White House's commitment to the effort. They said reducing new HIV infections would require addressing problems that hinder access to healthcare for those with HIV, such as increasing health insurance coverage, reducing the impact of socio-economic health determinants and eliminating existing stigmas of those living with the virus.