Congress Cuts HIV Prevention Funding

December 21, 2007 at 9:40 am 5 comments

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been sitting on data that shows that nearly 50% more Americans are infected with HIV than originally estimated which makes this the perfect time for Congress to cut funding for HIV prevention. The cuts occurred in an omnibus spending bill that will fund 14 federal agencies for 2008.

Among its provisions are just under $2.2 billion for the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which funds services for people with AIDS provided by states, cities, and private AIDS groups, and $692 million for the CDC’s HIV prevention programs, which got $695 million in the 2007 fiscal year.

Included in the Senate version of the bill was an additional $40 billion for the Iraq war. That makes total sense right? Let’s spend more money to blow stuff up and continue a completely unnecessary war rather than spending money to educate Americans on how to prevent becoming infected with HIV.

We are 26 years into the epidemic and there is still no comprehensive national strategy for dealing with AIDS. The next president has to make the creation and implementation of a national AIDS strategy a top priority.

As David Munar of AIDS Foundation Chicago and Prevention Justice says

CDC’s own 2001 HIV Prevention Strategic Plan, which set the important goal of reducing new HIV infections to a level of 20,000 per year by 2005 (a 50 percent reduction), quietly expired two year ago without any progress. A decade of flat funding, inadequate money for HIV prevention (and care) from the start, and poor investments for the scarce resources that have been made available—such as failure to fund needle exchange, comprehensive sexuality education, and other proven interventions—are largely (but not entirely) to blame. We also need to figure out what other psychosocial and structural factors (i.e. stigma, homophobia, racism) contribute to high rates of HIV transmission in the U.S. and what can be done about them.

Quite simply, failure to invest in proven interventions (and at adequate amounts) fails to produce desired results. This is why a comprehensive national AIDS strategy with measurable goals and objectives—and the accountability mechanisms to sustain and measure progress—is so desperately needed.

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Congress, Health, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, Politics. Tags: , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Russell  |  December 22, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    We already know how to prevent becoming infected with HIV/AIDS and we already know how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Completely. There need be no more money spent on it. We already have a solution. It’s ridiculous that any money at all is being spent on anything related to HIV/AIDS except care for the children of people who are too idiotic to abstain from sex when they have a fatal disease.

    Reply
  • 2. Eco Warrior  |  December 23, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Wow. Sometimes it amazes me that I live here. I mean, how did I come out of a country so entirely lost on so many issues that I find important? haha
    Anyway, thanks for the post. Very informative.

    Reply
  • 3. totaltransformation  |  December 23, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Good. As the first comment clearly states, with HIV transmission via blood transfusion almost entirely eradicated, we know that the two other forms of transmission (sex and IV drug use) are easy enough to prevent. Sexually transmitted disease can and should take a backseat in regards to funding to other diseases that are both more communicable and less preventable.

    Now maybe that money can go to funding Cancer research. Maybe we can find a cure to an affliction that (at least here in the U.S.) is nowhere near as preventable and claims far more victims in a single month than AIDS could in a decade.

    Reply
  • 4. Dan (Fitness)  |  December 24, 2007 at 3:36 am

    Russell, you might as well argue against sex education then. After all, if we know about safe sex, then everyone does (and there’s no need for it at all). Spending money on prevention programs reaches out to the people who do not know about HIV/AIDS transmission, and is a direct way to prevent further infections from occurring.

    totaltrans, Except that money is not going to fund research on other diseases. It is going to war.

    Reply
  • 5. SKJ  |  December 24, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Gees, there’s a Democratically controlled house and senate for you…

    Reply

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