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GMHC Commends Obama for Prioritizing HIV/AIDS in 2012 Budget; Urges Congress to Fully Fund Critical Prevention and Care Programs

2.15.2011 - Washington, DC - In his budget proposal released today, President Obama reiterated his support for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Ryan White HIV care program. Funding for HIV care would increase by $109 million under the President's proposed budget, while funding for HIV/AIDS research would also increase. The budget summary explicitly mentions the unique risks of target populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM), African Americans and Hispanics. The budget proposal also directs $22 million for targeted HIV prevention programs in 12 cities most affected by the epidemic, including New York City.

"We are pleased that, during difficult fiscal times, President Obama recognizes the importance of funding HIV prevention and care programs and HIV research," said Marjorie Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "Meeting the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy requires enhanced resources in prevention and care."

The total allocation for HIV/AIDS under the Health Resources Services Administration includes a proposed $109 million increase from last year's continuing resolution. A portion of this increase is directed to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which are currently experiencing significant shortfalls. Nationwide about 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS remain on waiting lists for critical lifesaving medications. Finally, the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, the area of the National Institutes of Health that supports HIV/AIDS research, has a proposed increase from $4.5 billion to $4.9 billion.

The President's budget cuts funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while it "realigns resources" between CDC and other federal agencies to support the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

"GMHC urges Congress to follow the President's lead and fully fund critical HIV prevention and care programs, especially for the target populations outlined by the President," said Hill. "HIV prevention serves as a critical public health service. We look to the leadership of the 112th Congress to prioritize HIV in the difficult months ahead."

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GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City. We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide.

 

Source: GMHC


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