January 16, 2004
HRC Cautiously Optimistic on Increased HIV/AIDS Funding for Minorities and Drug Assistance Programs
Health and Human Services Releases Numbers Suggesting Funding Increases for Vital Programs
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today expressed cautious optimism in response to a section of President Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget request, which showed a six percent increase in funding for the HIV/AIDS Minority Communities Fund. The budget request also includes a 5 percent increase in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) within the Ryan White Care Act. HRC noted, however, that until the entire budget request is released, it will be impossible to put these numbers in full context. Further, the ADAP increase is roughly 10% of what will be necessary to remedy critical ADAP shortages.
"These requested increases are a good early sign, and we are cautiously optimistic that this could indicate a commitment from the White House to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic domestically," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "However, until the budget is released in its entirety, we have no way of knowing if these numbers reflect an overall increase in support or not."
Roughly 40,000 new HIV infections occur annually in this country. Infection rates are rising among subsets of the general population, particularly within communities of color and among young gay and bisexual men.
AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), help to provide medications to people living with HIV/AIDS in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.