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NMAC on the Hill -- National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 10, 2011

This article was provided by the National Minority AIDS Council.

Today is the 6th annual National Women and Girl's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). The goal of NWGHAAD is to highlight the increasingly heavy impact the AIDS epidemic has had on women. This impact has been even more severe among women of color.

To mark NWGHAAD, NMAC shared the story of Vanessa Mills, a brave African American mother living with HIV. Vanessa came to Washington, DC in February of this year to share her experiences with members of Congress. She was also kind enough to take some time to speak with NMAC staff and to have her story recorded.

Watch Vanessa's story, here

Read NMAC's statement on the importance of NWGHAAD here

Congress Passes Temporary Spending Bill

In order to avoid a government shut down, Congress passed a temporary spending bill last week, known as a Congressional Resolution (CR) that would fund the government until March 18. The CR cut $4 billion in spending over a two-week period, including almost $400 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted on HR 1, the House's spending bill which would cut $61 billion in spending and strip all federal funding for family planning and Planned Parenthood. The legislation did not pass. The Senate also voted on a substitute to HR 1 proposed by Sen. Inouye (D-HI), which maintained funding for family planning services and increased the amount directed to the nation's AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. That legislation was also defeated.

The House and Senate have until next Friday, March 18, to come to an agreement on spending or the federal government faces another possible shut down. NMAC will follow the situation closely and keep its constituents updated on any important developments.

Read NMAC's statement on the temporary spending bill passed last week here

Read NMAC's statement on HR 1 here

Congressional Hearing on Health Care Funding

On Wednesday, March 9, The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing titled, "Setting Fiscal Priorities in Health Care Funding." The chair of the committee and his Republican colleagues spent much of the hearing criticizing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Prevention and Wellness Fund. Costs associated with the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), a state-grant initiative aimed at reducing both teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI), was also criticized during the hearing.

Democrats on the committee highlighted the importance of evidence-based pregnancy and STI interventions for young people and criticized previous support for abstinence-only programs. Coalition members also submitted a letter to the committee in support of PREP, which was admitted on the record.

NMAC will continue to monitor efforts to weaken or dismantle the Affordable Care Act and related prevention and wellness programs and will keep its constituents updated on any developments.

You can watch Wednesday's hearing on the House Energy and Commerce Committee website here

See Also
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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