President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 includes $761 million to fund his plan to end the HIV epidemic in America—that’s a $450 million increase from the previous budget. But this promising news comes with plans to cut billions of dollars in federal safety-net programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and Medicare. As Trump himself might say: Sad!

“Last year, the HIV community fiercely advocated for more funding to end the HIV epidemic. We were ultimately successful, thanks to leadership in the community and bipartisan support at all levels of the government,” said Nick Armstrong of national advocacy and policy group The AIDS Institute in a press release from the organization. “While we see many policy issues within the president’s budget that we do not support, we hope that our bipartisan champions in Congress will support the proposed increases in the budget so that we can implement year two of the [federal plan to end HIV] and protect vital programs for which people living with and at risk of HIV rely.”

Trump announced the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” initiative during the 2019 State of the Union address. Its goal is to lower HIV rates nationwide by 75% by 2025 and by 90% by 2030. (Apparently, Trump plans to accomplish this while also demolishing the Affordable Care Act, ending protections for people with preexisiting conditions and allowing health care providers to discriminate against LGBT people. But we digress.)

The AIDS Institute spells out how Trump’s requested 2021 funding for his HIV initiative breaks down:

  • $371 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • $137 million for HIV prevention services and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for community health centers

  • $165 million for ending the HIV epidemic work within the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program

  • $27 million for Indian Health Services

  • $16 million for the Center for AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Trump’s proposal is basically a wish list. In the upcoming months, members of Congress will hammer out the details. As our sister publication Cancer Health points out, Congress is unlikely to approve Trump’s proposed budget, including the $3 billion cut to the NIH. For example, in recent years, instead of cutting health services as proposed, lawmakers have instead increased funding for those programs.

For more details on the proposed cute to Medicaid and various agencies, see CNN’s “Trump Budget Includes Deep Cuts to Health Care and Safety Net Programs.”


Confused about how appropriations (or funding bills) work in our government? Check out the video above for a brief explainer. It’s just one of the many multimedia offerings from Positive Women’s Network–USA’s free online guide “Claim Your Seat at the Table! A How-To Guide to Advocacy for People Living With HIV.”

In related news, see “Plans to End the HIV Epidemic at Home and Abroad: An Overview of Strategies and Successes.”