Senate Committee Approves $1.4 Million for Development of National AIDS Strategy
July 17, 2008—Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the
Financial Services appropriations bill for the coming fiscal year that
includes $1.4 million to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy
for the development of a National AIDS Strategy. The House of
Representatives Appropriations Committee included a similar provision
in their bill that passed in June. The funding would support
staff, meeting expenses, regional consultations and communications
costs to develop and oversee the implementation of a National AIDS
Strategy for the United States.
“HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is at crisis levels, while the Administration has
failed to respond appropriately to address the domestic epidemic and
the pervasive disparities across race, gender and socio-economic
status,” said Ronald Johnson, Deputy Executive Director, AIDS
Action. “We need a national strategy to drive a more
effective, outcomes-oriented domestic response to HIV/AIDS.”
The United States government, through enforcement of the President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), requires recipient countries
to have a strategy addressing their respective domestic epidemics in
place. The U.S. does not currently hold itself to the same
The National AIDS Strategy appropriations success comes after years of
tireless work by hundreds of organizations and individuals.
In May of 2008, the first Congressional briefing on the need for a
National AIDS Strategy was hosted. Thus far, more than 1,000
individuals and 293 organizations have endorsed the campaign for this
strategy at www.nationalaidsstrategy.org
“We are incredibly encouraged to see bodies within both chambers of
Congress support the development of a National AIDS Strategy which will
facilitate continuity of the domestic governmental response to the
epidemic, ensuring resources and efforts are maximized,” said Dr.
Marjorie Hill, Chief Executive Officer at Gay Men’s Health Crisis
(GMHC). “We strongly believe the National AIDS Strategy will
help reduce the number of new HIV infections in this country, improve
support services and the quality of lives for people living with
HIV/AIDS,” added Hill.
Many elected officials provided critical leadership on the National
AIDS Strategy appropriation. Senator Richard Durban, Rep.
James Moran, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Henry Waxman were among those
who spearheaded the effort. Other Members who made the
appropriation possible include Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck
Schumer, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Rep. Debbie Wasserman
Schultz, Rep. Joseph Serrano and Rep. Maxine Waters.
Council is the longest-serving national HIV/AIDS
advocacy organization. It serves as a
national voice for its members—community-based organizations, local
departments and clinics, treatment and prevention service providers,
educators by advocating for effective legislative and social policies
programs for HIV prevention, treatment, and care.