Statement by ARCW Vice President for Government and Public Relations Bill Keeton on the President’s Declaration of a Public Health Emergency Related to Opioids:

“There are more people than ever before living with HIV in the United States and all of them need access to health care and medications to not only maintain or regain their own health, but to prevent new HIV infections from occurring. Unfortunately, substance abuse and opioid addiction play significant roles in preventing some people with HIV from accessing health care or taking their medications as prescribed."

“The President is right to call for additional treatment options – including telehealth which ARCW is currently offering – to help enhance access to substance abuse treatment. His plan to eliminate barriers to treatment options for people with Medicaid is also sound public policy."

“However, the President missed the mark by not prioritizing the need for new federal funding to help address the opioid epidemic. While allowing for the reprioritization of federal dollars to address opioid addiction is an important first step, more must be done to bring new resources to combat this growing epidemic and we hope Congress follows the President’s action by committing new resources to support substance abuse prevention and treatment.”