President Donald Trump is proposing to give $100 million to the National Institutes of Health to help improve the country’s public health efforts on HIV.
Trump’s announcement Friday will add to the $1.9 billion the NIH has provided for HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and research since the agency began collecting the data in 1993.
The White House said in a statement that the announcement was made in a meeting with HIV and HIV prevention experts and that the administration is committed to working with our nation’s public and private health systems to improve the lives of people living with HIV.
“We are committed to supporting the NIH and to working collaboratively to address the needs of people affected by HIV,” the statement read.
Trump has also proposed providing $2.2 billion for a new national HIV-prevention strategy, which would include $150 million for research on how to prevent and treat HIV, and $400 million for a plan to improve access to testing for people living in communities of color.
In addition to funding for research, Trump said he is committed “to increasing the availability of lifesaving HIV testing to our country’s citizens and to ensuring that every American has access to treatment.”
Trump’s proposed national HIV strategy calls for spending an additional $3 billion to fund new research on the virus, including new HIV testing and treatments.
The NIH’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence estimated in 2016 that the global HIV pandemic cost the U.S. $2 billion in lost productivity, lost productivity growth and health-care costs.
In 2018, the NIH said it was spending $1 billion on prevention programs, which Trump called “unprecedented.”
The NIH budget is expected to be released Friday.
Trump said that “the Trump administration will continue to pursue our national HIV plan, including an ambitious plan to combat the pandemic in the coming years, with the full support of Congress.”
The White Helmets, a rescue and medical rescue organization, said that the new money would go to helping people who need help to stay safe from the virus.
The organization said in an email that the funding would be used to pay for supplies for the more than 1,200 trained medical personnel who will be needed to treat those who have contracted HIV.
The New York Times reported that the Trump administration has already proposed providing the funding to the CDC, and that it would be a “significant boost” to the nation’s efforts to contain the virus and prevent its spread.
“This is a massive contribution from the president to help save lives, and we are grateful for the president’s leadership on this issue,” the New York-based group’s Executive Director Daniel Diamant told The Associated Press.