Feb. 4, 2008 -- In President Bush’s last State of the Union Address, he
referred to the administration’s “unfinished business.” One week
later, it is clear from the President’s FY 2009 Budget Request that the
unfinished business of this administration includes a complete failure
to address the health and well being of people and communities affected
by and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in the U.S. The President’s budget
for domestic HIV/AIDS programs is inadequate to meet the growing needs
of the epidemic here. It is, in short, utterly shameful.
The President’s budget reflects the absence of a National AIDS Strategy
that is focused on ending the epidemic and caring for all those
affected. Instead, the President’s budget targets for dismissal
the needs of our most stigmatized and marginalized people.
AIDS Action Calls President’s FY 2009 Budget Request Shameful
Action Council is shocked that President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2009
(FY2009) budget proposes either flat funding for or drastic cuts to
HIV/AIDS programs while the HIV epidemic continues to ravage
communities nationwide, especially African American and Latino
communities. The proposed $8 million cut in the Ryan White CARE
Act Title I (Part A) program will harm metropolitan areas most impacted
by HIV/AIDS as they struggle to provide HIV care and treatment.
The cut of $1 million for domestic HIV prevention programs is proposed
as we await the release of new HIV surveillance numbers from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that are expected to
show an estimated increase of 20 thousand new HIV infections annually
in the United States to more than 60,000 new cases annually.
a time when the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is at its
highest, including 500,000 people not receiving HIV care and with
resulting demand for a trained HIV health care workforce at its peak,
the President’s budget proposes to decrease funding for AIDS Education
and Training Centers (AETCs) by $5 million, which would diminish the
number of trained HIV/AIDS providers in minority and rural communities.
Bush should know by now that HIV continues to increase in this country
because we have not set aside the proper amount of funds with the
proper national AIDS strategy to address our diverse epidemic,” said
AIDS Action’s Executive Director, Rebecca Haag. “If he wanted to
address the unfinished business of those living with HIV in the United
States he would have submitted a very different budget. We now
look to our U.S. Congress to stand tall and do what is right and fund
HIV prevention, treatment and CARE in this country. Ignore
President Bush’s final budget and increase the HIV domestic funding