In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative awarded $99 million to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The funding will support efforts to link people who are either newly diagnosed with HIV or diagnosed but currently not in care to essential treatment and support services, helping them reach viral suppression and reduce HIV transmission.

More than $87 million will support 39 metropolitan areas and eight states in implementing interventions, strategies, and support services to reduce new HIV infections. Another $3 million is designated to enhancing workforces at AIDS education training centers, and $8 million will support the two organizations that provide technical support and systems coordination services to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s 47 jurisdictions.

“The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential services to more than half a million people with diagnosed HIV in the United States each year,” Laura Cheever, MD, ScM, associate administrator of HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau, said. “The awards specifically support programs that play a critical role in communities hardest hit by the HIV epidemic to ensure that people have access to the life-saving medication and HIV care and treatment services they need.”

Reducing new cases of HIV in the United States has remained a bipartisan priority for the past three presidential administrations. HIV/AIDS prevention is cancer prevention. Oncology nurses can leverage their position as trusted advocates to educate patients on the importance of HIV prevention and how the virus influences their risk of developing cancer and their treatment options.