President Bush on Monday released his $3.1 trillion fiscal year 2009 budget proposal, which allocates funding for global and domestic HIV/AIDS programs, the AP/Google.com reports (Taylor, AP/Google.com, 2/5). Under Bush's budget proposal, $4.8 billion would be allocated for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, which forms the bulk of funding for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Bush's total request for PEPFAR funding is $6 billion in FY 2009. In addition, the budget would allocate $1.6 billion for child survival and health programs.
The budget proposal would allocate $200 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria within the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative account. The Global Fund also would receive $300 million within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases account. The budget proposal would provide $300 million for the President's Malaria Initiative and ongoing malaria programs worldwide. Bush also requested $2.2 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a program meant to encourage economic and political reforms in developing countries (President's FY 2009 budget, 2/4).
Under Bush's budget proposal, funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration -- which administers the Ryan White Program -- would be reduced by about $1 billion from FY 2008 levels to $5.8 billion. HRSA HIV/AIDS programs would receive "small increases in spending," according to CQ Today (Wayne, CQ Today, 2/4). According to a HRSA release, the budget proposal would provide an overall $1.1 million increase for Ryan White and a $6 million increase for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (HRSA release, 2/4).
In addition, Bush requested $300 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS to support stable housing, improved access to health care and supportive services for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS (Department of Housing and Urban Development release, 2/4). The administration also called for renewing a ban on city funding for needle-exchange programs in Washington, D.C. (Sheridan/Fahrenthold, Washington Post, 2/5).
Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation said, "This budget shows an irresponsible neglect of our burgeoning domestic epidemic" (AHF release, 2/4). Gene Copello, executive director of the AIDS Institute, said, "While the President's FY 2009 budget carries good news for addressing the global pandemic, it is terribly inadequate to address the epidemic in our own backyard. Following a trend now for several years, this budget will only further destabilize the prevention of HIV and the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS in our own country" (AIDS Institute release, 2/4).
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