June 25, 2004
Last month, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on public financing for HIV/AIDS care, which called for the development of a federal entitlement to comprehensive primary medical care and prescription drugs for all Americans with HIV/AIDS who earn less than $23,000 per year. The HIV Medicine Association calls on the President and his Administration to embrace this recommendation and to urge Congress to legislate such a program. In the interim, the President can ensure that scores of low-income persons with HIV disease do not find themselves on waiting lists for medications later this year by calling for increases in the budget allocation for health programs that support Ryan White CARE Act programs as well as more resources for HIV prevention programs at the CDC and for AIDS research at the NIH.
President Bush's focus on the battle against HIV/AIDS in this country is welcome and long overdue. We can only hope that the President's remarks in Philadelphia mark the beginning of a comprehensive and science-based response to this deadly infectious disease that continues to plague cities and rural areas across the country.