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State of the Union: 15 Days Until $538 Million Cut From HIV/AIDS Services and Programs

February 13, 2013

President Obama. Image from

Image from

Last night President Obama gave his first State of the Union address since taking office for his second term. And among the varied issues he touched upon, including gun control, equal pay and raising the minimum wage, international terrorism, and immigration, President Obama also pledged to realize "the promise of an AIDS-free generation."

Now, you can probably imagine the surprise that many of us experienced in reaction to this direct pledge to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and abroad, especially given the complete absence of HIV/AIDS issues during the 2012 campaign season as well as the three Presidential debates.

Yet, there it was, albeit nestled in a section about global markets and global poverty.

And one of the ways that the POTUS seems to be intent on realizing this goal of an AIDS-free generation is to stop the automatic spending cuts that are set to automatically start on March 1st, a mere 15 days away.

Last night in his speech, the POTUS noted that these automatic cuts are "a really bad idea," and that Congressional leaders must work together to avoid the enactment of these shortsighted cuts.

And even more specifically, for people living with HIV/AIDS the sequestration cuts are serious business and could boil down to the difference between life and death. A recent report by the Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR) shows that if the Sequestration cuts go through:

  • 15,700 people will lose ADAP benefits.
  • 5,000 households will lose HOPWA support.
  • 460 AIDS research grants will be eliminated.
  • And preventive services will take a major hit, lessening the likelihood of early diagnoses and getting people on treatment earlier.

While we are relived to see a renewed effort toward avoiding the Sequestration, we will just have to wait to see what magic Congress can pull out of their hats in the next fifteen days.

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This article was provided by Housing Works. It is a part of the publication Housing Works AIDS Issues Update. Visit Housing Works' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
See Also
Advocates Urge Obama to Address HIV in the U.S.
President Obama and HIV/AIDS

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