Bush AIDS Budget Draws Praise, but More Fire
February 12, 2003
The Bush administration's 2004 federal budget is drawing both praise and criticism from gay and AIDS groups. Proposals include a $100 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, a $5 million increase in the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program, and an additional $110 million for AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health, according to an analysis by Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay lobbying group.Adapted from:
"The president's announcement that he is going to offer an increase of $100 million for  for ADAP is very, very encouraging," said William E. Arnold, chair of the ADAP Working Group, a coalition of 30 AIDS groups and pharmaceutical companies. Activists have said the 2003 ADAP shortfall is $162 million. In the unfinished 2003 budget, the Senate version has a $100 million ADAP increase, while the House approved a $20 million increase. "If we preserve the $100 million in 2003, if we come out with the highest number, which is the Senate number, that will solve about half of our current problem," Arnold said.
Gay Men's Health Crisis noted the administration flat-lined funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative, and specifically noted that among all parts of the Ryan White CARE Act -- the primary funding source for many AIDS programs -- only ADAP was getting an increase. GMHC Executive Director Ana Oliveira said in a statement, "This administration's abject failure to respond to the critical prevention and treatment needs in the United States and around the world is appalling." "The CARE Act programs will continue to be underfunded," said David E. Munar, associate director of AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
The administration's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief includes $10 billion in new spending, starting with a $2 billion allocation in 2004. The State Department is given $450 million for the plan. A $1 billion contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will be given in $200 million annual allotments over five years. The remaining $1.35 billion that the president promised is in a $50 million increase for the CDC global AIDS program and other international programs. The budget creates a Special Coordinator for International HIV/AIDS Assistance at the State Department "to ensure accountability for results."
Gay City News (New York City)
02.07.03; Duncan Osborne
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.