End the Epidemics Update: State Budget Includes an Additional $13 Million to End the Epidemics of HIV, STIs, Viral Hepatitis and OverdosePosted August 5, 2021
Investments move California in the right direction, but state leaders failed to close coverage gap for STI services for low-income LGBTQ+ Californians
July 27, 2021 – The FY 2021-22 State Budget signed today by Governor Newsom includes an additional $13 million to end the epidemics of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), viral hepatitis and overdose. These investments will help to address skyrocketing STI rates, improve access to harm reduction services for people who use drugs, identify people living with hepatitis C and link them to the cure, develop innovative programs for people aging with HIV, and address persistent inequities in use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Regrettably, the budget does not include a critical expansion of the state’s Family PACT program that would have increased access to STI testing and treatment services for low-income LGBTQ+ Californians.
California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair Assembly member Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and Vice Chair Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) championed these budget requests from the statewide End the Epidemics coalition, with strong support from other members of the LGBTQ+ Caucus, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services Chair Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno).
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