No Cuts to HIV/AIDS Programs on the Horizon

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Aids Ribbonhealth news.

In The Presidents 2012-budget proposal, President Obama has a message, “we have to live within our means, and make a down payment on our future.” The programs that are near and dear to the hearts of LGBT and persons with HIV or living with AIDS appear to be safe, at the moment.

President Obama has promised to not cut programs, but to increase funding for research for HIV/AIDS. He has promised support to the National Institute of Health (NIH) by an increase of $74 million dollars, for a total of $3.2 million by 2012. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS program will also see an increase of $88 million for care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS. Overall support for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy program (NHAS) will expand in care, research and prevention with a budget that will increase from $26 billion to $28 billion in 2012. The main goals of the NHAS are to reduce HIV, increase access to care, optimize health outcomes and to reduce HIV related health disparities.

calculationThe budget has also allocated money to increase funding for HIV/Aids prevention. This budget will fund prevention programs to help reduce high-risk behaviors associated with HIV transmission. The President also has promised to maintain funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Developments Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) at $335 million.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division will also see an increase by 11 % in funding; this investment will enforce civil rights protections for people with HIV/AIDS and fight to reduce stigma and discrimination against those living with the disease.  

Support for equal rights for hospital visitation will continue, and the Department of Health and Human Services will ensure that hospitals with patients who are on Medicare and Medicaid will continue to receive the dignity they deserve in their time of distress. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons, as well as widowers and widows have the right to choose who can visit them regardless of whether that person is a family member, spouse or friend. The hospitals can no longer dictate who can and can’t visit patients, the President has promised to continue his full support on this issue.

Support for federal employee domestic partnership benefits will continue, which provides the same benefits to homosexuals as it does to heterosexuals. These benefits include, health insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, vacation and relocation benefits.

moneyAnti bullying and hate crimes are also on the Presidents radar with a budget of 132 million for state and local grants to support the implementation of programs that would aim at preventing bullying, harassment, substance abuse and would promote emotional and physical health of our students. Mr. President has also promised to continue to combat hate crimes and continue the substantial support to Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd, Jr. hate crimes prevention act. A 5% increase has been provided to fight hate crimes.

Other programs have not fared as well, with a goal to cut our deficit by $1 trillion dollars over the next ten years; there have been cuts across the board. The low- income home energy programs have taken a hit, as well as community development block programs and community service block programs to many federally funded programs.

When asked, what programs will be cut for people living with HIV and AIDS?  Jeffrey S. Crowley, White House Office of national AIDS Policy Director said “The President is making increases and no cuts to programs for HIV and AIDS.”

Social Security hasn’t taken any hits just yet with a 9% increase from 2010, but the new budget also asks for programs that are outdated or ineffective to be terminated, there have been over 120 terminations or reductions resulting in a budget savings of $20 billion dollars each year.

The President does promise that these “hard choices” will free the American economy from their burden. “So even as recovery begins to take hold, we have more work to do to live up to our promise by repairing the damage this brutal recession has inflicted on our people, generating millions of new jobs, and seizing the economic opportunities of this competitive, new century.”

“These must be the priorities as we put together our Budget for the coming year.  The fiscal realities we face require hard choices. A decade of deficits, compounded by the effects of the recession and the steps we had to take to break it, as well as the chronic failure to confront difficult decisions, has put us on an unsustainable course. That’s why my budget lays out a path for how we can pay down these debts and free the American economy from their burden.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/budget/03_Presidents_Message.pdf 

 

 

Aids Ribbonhealth news.

In The Presidents 2012-budget proposal, President Obama has a message, “we have to live within our means, and make a down payment on our future.” The programs that are near and dear to the hearts of LGBT and persons with HIV or living with AIDS appear to be safe, at the moment.