HIV/AIDS has not gone away. New HIV infections continue to climb and the number of people needing care and treatment are increasing. According to the Center for Disease Control,
- More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and almost 1 in 7 (14%) are unaware of their status.
- Gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men, particularly such young black/African American men, are most seriously affected by HIV.
- By race, blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.
Joining 148 partner organizations in the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition’s (ABAC), we are urging President Obama to adequately fund HIV programs in the fiscal year 2016 budget. (See letter here)
In the letter, the groups write, “We appreciate that you have recognized this need in the past and we ask now that you continue to increase funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs as you craft a FY2016 budget. Unfortunately, due to sequestration and other budget constraints, in recent years HIV/AIDS programs and other non-defense discretionary programs have been cut, even as new HIV infections continue to climb and the number of people needing care and treatment increase.”
We are requesting that the President maintain the federal government’s commitment to safety net programs that protect the public health, such as the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA), Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act. In order to prevent new infections, we asked that HIV, STD, and Hepatitis prevention programs at the CDC and throughout HHS be adequately funded, as well as AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health so that we may find a cure and address other research priorities.
Note: If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact the ABAC co-chairs: Carl Schmid at firstname.lastname@example.org, Donna Crews at email@example.com, or Emily McCloskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.