This budget demonstrates the administration’s lack of understanding for housing as a critical need for people living with HIV and the impact on communities of color. 69% of new HIV infections in 2018 were in Black and Latino persons and 56% of HOPWA participants are people of color. America’s history of housing discrimination and lack of affordable housing options for the black community is squarely intersected with health outcomes. HIV is no exception. Funding housing opportunities for people living with HIV is a matter of health equity and racial justice.
Treating HIV is not merely about medicine. The Ryan White program reports a viral suppression rate of 88% for clients who are housed compared to only 72% for clients who are homeless. When people are virally suppressed, they cannot transmit HIV through sex. To end the epidemic, we must help all those living with HIV/AIDS obtain viral suppression. Housing is a cornerstone.
Housing is healthcare.
The National AIDS Housing Coalition, and over 250 organizations throughout the country, are urging Congress to fund HOPWA at least at $600M for FY22.