There is zero tolerance for using federal HIV funds to detain immigrant children.
Every dollar appropriated by Congress to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and across the globe serves a distinct and necessary purpose. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar knows this, and yet he and his colleagues in the Trump administration have chosen to take millions of dollars in funding that had been specifically allocated by Congress for HIV treatment, prevention, and support services, and repurpose it to finance the separation and imprisonment of young immigrant children.
In a letter that was sent to Congressional appropriators earlier this month, Secretary Azar stated his intent to reallocate $266 million in FY 18 funds within HHS to implement the detention of immigrant children. Included in that $266 million is more than $9.5 million in federal HIV spending from the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, CDC HIV prevention and surveillance, the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, and other programs.
Any removal of federal HIV funding for purposes not related to caring for the 1.2 million people living with HIV in this country is unacceptable, but taking away federal HIV funding in order to detain immigrant children after separating them from their families at the border is appalling and cannot be tolerated.
We call on everyone in the HIV community to speak out and demand that the Trump administration keep their hands of federal HIV funding and to end their inhumane policy of child separation.
Click here to take action and make your voice heard.
[Note from TheBody: This article was originally published by AIDS United on Sept. 20, 2018. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]