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Press Release

Obama's Budget Increases Government Commitment to Fight HIV Epidemic

GMHC Encouraged by Enhanced HIV Prevention Resources, Support for a National AIDS Strategy

May 11, 2009

Washington, D.C. -- On Thursday, May 7, President Obama released details of the fiscal year 2010 budget. The budget includes desperately-needed, added resources for the fight against HIV/AIDS. Specifically, the following changes were made:

  • Additional $53 million to HIV prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • $54 million for the Ryan White CARE Act
  • Changes to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that ensure more evidence-based programs are funded

The increased funding for the CDC comes after years or flat and decreased funding, despite evidence in 2008 that the rate of new infections in the country was 40% higher than previously reported. Changes to community-based abstinence education programs redirected 75% of those funds to evidence-based teen pregnancy programs, and 25% will be used to test new evidence-based prevention programs. The budget proposal does not address the federal funding ban on needle exchange programs, a policy that has halted critical HIV prevention efforts targeted to intravenous drug users.

"These changes to the federal government's HIV/AIDS portfolio represent a much-welcomed shift in Washington," said Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Gay Men's Health Crisis. "For too long, we have been asked to fight the epidemic without the fiscal support and commitment of our national leaders in government. These warranted increases give us hope that our efforts will be supported, that fewer people will become infected with HIV, and that we can help people living with HIV achieve longer, healthier lives," added Hill.

The fiscal year 2010 budget will now be considered by Congress and will go into effect October 1.

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This article was provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis. Visit GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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