Project ABLE is a statewide coalition of AIDS service providers, advocates and people with HIV/AIDS/HCV. Since the early 1990’s, Project ABLE has successfully increased state funding for HIV/AIDS by working effectively with several governors and their respective administrations, the Massachusetts legislature, and through mobilizing a grassroots network of HIV/AIDS service providers, advocates, and people with HIV/AIDS/HCV.

FY22: Level-funding for HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C Services

HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C Line Item (DPH 4512-0103) at $30.8 M
Harm Reduction Line Item (DPH 4512-0206) at $4.7 M

HIV in Massachusetts

  • 662 new diagnoses reported in 2018
  • CDC estimates that 12.5% of HIV infected persons nationwide are not
    aware of their HIV status. Based on this assumption there may be 3,000 people
    living in Massachusetts who are HIV+ and undiagnosed.
  • In 2020, DPH confirmed an alarming and growing cluster of new HIV cases in Boston, among people who inject drugs and have experienced recent homelessness, historically hard to reach populations.
  • Inequitable healthcare structures cause HIV to continue to disproportionately affect Black and Latinx populations.

What does the HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C Line Item pay for?

  • Services for people living with HIV/AIDS like Health Navigation and Housing Support Services
  • Syringe Service Programs (SSPs) and holistic harm reduction drug user health programs
  • Testing for HIV, Hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Linkage to care, navigation to treatment, and access to PreExposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which prevents the transmission of HIV

Many of the organizations funded by these line items have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring no lapses in service delivery, continuing to serve hard to reach populations, and maintaining the infrastructure that the COVID response has relied upon. This is not the time to cut funding for these critical services for vulnerable populations.

Hepatitis C in Massachusetts

  • In Massachusetts, Hepatitis C cases have remained high, with 8,000 to 9,000 cases reported each year.
  • Based on reported data, MDPH estimates that there are over 250,000 people living with HCV infection in Massachusetts.
  • The CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends universal screening and testing for all adults aged 18 to 79. In MA, in 2018, the Department of Public Health reported that the 15-39 age group has a higher rate of HCV infection compared to all other age groups. MA must implement this universal screening recommendation in order to find and treat this new, growing demographic.

What is at stake?

  • Cities and towns across the state have approved syringe service programs (SSPs) in their communities to combat the rise in new HIV cases in people who inject drugs (PWID). Cuts to these line items would keep these newly approved SSPs from doing front line harm reduction.
  • HIV programs serve as an important infrastructure for COVID response:
    Community-based agencies continue to test, educate, and vaccinate their clients and patients, along with still delivering all their original programs and services in new, COVID-safe ways.
  • One Boston-area AIDS Service Organization reported 1,886 client outreach interactions during the peak of the COVID pandemic (March 2019- June 2019).

Please support level funding
HIV/AIDS/HCV Line Item (DPH 4512-0103) at $30.8M
Harm Reduction Line Item (DPH 4512-0206) at $4.7M

Getting to ZERO infections in Massachusetts is possible with investment in programs that work!

For more information, contact at HIVProjectABLE@aol.com or call 617.797.8488