President Obama Takes Bold Action to Fund HIV/AIDS Programs—Now Congress Must Act


San Francisco, April 11, 2013—President Obama’s newly released budget for the next fiscal year takes a bold step forward in the fight against HIV/AIDS and shows his administration is committed to creating the AIDS-free generation he envisions. The budget restores millions of dollars earmarked for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and Ryan White–funded HIV clinics and increases funding in other areas vital to the health of people living with or at high risk for HIV. Now it is incumbent upon Congress to approve the president’s spending proposals.

“With this budget, the president sends a clear signal to our nation and members of Congress that HIV/AIDS remains a top priority and he is committed to providing the funding we need to stop HIV transmission and improve care for all people living with the disease,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Our elected officials must take the president’s lead to ensure lifesaving programs are fully funded so we can truly realize an AIDS-free generation.”

Among the items in the budget, the president calls for $10 million in new funding to ADAP, $10 million in new funding to Ryan White Part C early intervention medical clinics, $50 million in World AIDS Day 2011 Emergency Funds built into the Ryan White Fiscal Year 2014 baseline, and a $10 million increase to HIV-specific prevention services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The administration’s budget also redirects $40 million from “less effective activities” to support a new $40 million initiative to improve systems that link individuals recently diagnosed with HIV to care. According to administration briefings, this initiative will focus on high-incidence urban areas and black Americans.

“President Obama’s budget sets a high-water mark for HIV/AIDS funding and reflects the tireless work of HIV/AIDS advocates across the country,” said Ernest Hopkins, director of legislative affairs at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “We’re gratified that the administration made evidence-based budget decisions and targeted increases for HIV/AIDS services and programs based on impact and need, but this is the beginning of the process, not the end.”

The president’s budget next informs the budget negotiations between Congress and the administration, as lawmakers attempts to craft a comprehensive budget agreement that eliminates the sequester and provides budget caps for the appropriations process. San Francisco AIDS Foundation will continue to work closely with our allies to advocate for the highest possible federal funding for programs and services that protect the health of people living with or at risk for HIV.

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About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, go to sfaf.org.

 

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