Press Room

September 09, 2004

Category: HIV & AIDS

HRC Calls on Senate to Raise HIV/AIDS Funding Levels

'The proposed funding levels are dangerously inadequate,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign called for the Senate to increase funding levels for the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act and other critical federal HIV/AIDS programs. On Thursday night, the House passed the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill, under-funding the CARE Act and other important HIV/AIDS programs, such as prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and research at the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health.

"The proposed funding levels are dangerously inadequate," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "We must ensure that all people - especially the younger generation - are effectively protected in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

Jacques added, "Our nation must provide adequate funding for a comprehensive strategy, including investments in prevention, research and treatment to combat HIV/AIDS in our nation and abroad. Given the rising health care costs and enormity of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the critical services and programs offered through the Ryan White CARE Act deserve to be sufficiently funded. We call on the Senate to raise the funding levels for these life-saving programs."

The Ryan White CARE Act is the largest single source of public funds (excluding Medicaid) that treats people with HIV/AIDS in the United States. First enacted in 1990, the act supports a wide range of community-based services, including primary and home health care, case management, substance-abuse treatment and mental health services and nutritional and housing services. It also supports the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides HIV-related prescription drugs to those without access to basic HIV treatment.

"The funding levels passed by the House will result in cuts in service and access to life-prolonging

HIV/AIDS treatments for thousands of our nation's most vulnerable," added Jacques.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.