NVHR Applauds CDC and HHS For Funding Programs to End HIV and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics

 
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

MEDIA CONTACT Molly Hall: (202) 759-9614 

 

HIV ‘End the Epidemic’ funding award published by the CDC demonstrates support for an integrated approach and comprehensive harm reduction strategies to eliminate HIV and viral hepatitis epidemics. 

Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2020) – The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR), a national coalition working to eliminate viral hepatitis, today commended the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for committing to fund programs that ‘End the HIV Epidemic’ by addressing HIV, viral hepatitis, overdose, and syringe services in an integrated fashion. 

“The CDC’s commitment to funding integrated programs to End the HIV Epidemic is an important acknowledgement that infectious diseases, including viral hepatitis, don’t exist in silos. Therefore, an integrated approach is crucial for ending the infectious disease epidemics,” said NVHR Director Lauren Canary. “The expansion of comprehensive syringe services programs is the most important tool we have to stem new cases of HIV and viral hepatitis driven by injection drug use.” 

The funding announcement takes a comprehensive approach to ending the epidemics, allowing up to 10% of the HIV End the Epidemic funding to be used to address viral hepatitis and 25% must be directed to community organizations. 

Since 2010, viral hepatitis rates have tripled in the U.S., and clusters of new HIV infections, especially among injecting communities, have also increased. The funding will allow for the establishment of new syringe services programs and expansion of services to address wound care, mobile services, and hepatitis A and B vaccination. However, awarded programs will have to find alternative means for purchasing syringes as a part of these programs, because the U.S. Senate has failed to lift the ban on the use of federal funding to purchase syringes. 

“Prioritizing the elimination of HIV is important, but without funding for the estimated three million Americans living with hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which is triple the number of people living with HIV, a key component of the infectious disease epidemic is ignored,” added Canary. “This new funding is a crucial step towards the elimination of HIV and viral hepatitis. But we now need the support of Congress to remove additional barriers to care to accelerate the end of the epidemics.” 

For more information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/funding/announcements/ps20-2010/ 

About the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, a program of HEP, is a national coalition working together to eliminate hepatitis B and C in the United States. NVHR’s vision is a healthier world without hepatitis B and C. NVHR’s work is guided and informed by our beliefs and commitment to: Participation, 

Inclusiveness, Intersectionality, Health Equity, and Stigma Elimination. For more information, visit www.nvhr.org.