Senator Klobuchar Supports Ending HIV Homelessness

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota AIDS Project would like to thank Senator Klobuchar for her support of increased funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program (HOPWA). HOPWA is the only federal program dedicated to meet the housing needs of people living with HIV and AIDS.  A cut in funding would place thousands of vulnerable individuals at risk of losing stable housing.

At $330 million the President’s proposed 2018 budget for HOPWA falls short of the $375 million recommended by the National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC), a figure based on estimated housing needs.

Minnesota receives approximately $1,839,070 in HOPWA funds, which are used to reach almost 200 units of housing each year with the provision of rental supports, supportive services, and case management.

The link between housing and health has been thoroughly researched. For people living with HIV and AIDS, having stable housing is one of the strongest predictors of access to medical treatment, positive health outcomes, and a longer lifespan. In fact, one’s housing status has a larger impact on their health than drug and alcohol use, mental health status, or utilization of other social services. NAHC reports a staggering 80% reduction in mortality among those who were homeless and living with HIV/AIDS who received supportive housing.

Undoubtedly, housing plays a crucial role in the prevention and eradication of HIV. People who are stably housed are better able to adhere to their treatment plan, therefore reducing their viral loads and their risk of transmitting the virus to others. Approximately 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV, with thousands of new infections occurring each year. No person should have to make the decision between obtaining necessary medical care and housing for themselves and their family, and HOPWA provides critical funding to ensure that such a decision never has to be made.

Use the form above to send a letter to Senator Klobuchar thanking her for her support of people living with HIV.