Domestic Gag Rule Creates Roadblocks to Progress in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Washington, DC, May 22 2018 – On Friday, the Trump Administration announced its intent to reinstate a decades’ old policy denying government funding to Title X family planning recipients that discuss the option of abortion with their clients. It will similarly deny government resources to recipients providing abortions with funding from other sources. This “domestic gag rule” follows on the heels of the “global gag rule” enacted in 2017. As with the prior decision, this policy creates significant roadblocks to health programs and unnecessarily increases the risk of spreading HIV.

Clinics funded through Title X are often the only source of HIV testing and services in rural and other under-served areas. This decision is an attack on women’s health and also exacerbates the economic disparities in access to care. It will inhibit those living with, and at increased risk of contracting HIV from accessing the necessary testing and treatment.

The decision is widely seen as an attack on Planned Parenthood, an organization critical to the fight against HIV/AIDS in this country. Planned Parenthood provides roughly 650,000 HIV tests each year. In addition, its health centers are far more likely to use rapid-result blood testing for HIV than any other publicly funded family planning provider. As AIDS United recently highlighted, targeting the organization has previously had disastrous effects on communities; a 2015 HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana was made worse by the closure of a Planned Parenthood clinic, the only source of regular HIV testing and services available in that area.

FCAA firmly believes that universal access to healthcare — including HIV treatment, prevention and care — is a fundamental human right. Without question, this policy will negatively impact public health and unnecessarily endanger the lives of people in communities across the country. Programs will have to choose between eliminating essential aspects of care or losing funding. Many will have to close their doors altogether, leaving entire communities without critical health resources.

We have the tools to defeat HIV and AIDS but our efforts are hobbled by ill-informed policies like the global and domestic gag rules. Funders Concerned About AIDS stands in support of all Title X-funded health centers including Planned Parenthood and calls on funders to speak out against harmful policies and to continue to fund advocacy efforts to defeat them


About Funders Concerned About AIDS

Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) is the leading voice on philanthropic resources allocated to the global AIDS epidemic. It provides funders with the necessary data to make informed decisions related to allocating increased, focused HIV/AIDS resources.