'Shortchanging the fight against HIV/AIDS threatens the lives of millions of American men, women and children,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign expressed deep disappointment at the decision by a House subcommittee to flat-fund the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act and other critical federal HIV/AIDS programs.
"Shortchanging the fight against HIV/AIDS threatens the lives of millions of American men, women and children," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Without giving HIV/AIDS programs the resources they need, we'll continue to see adverse impacts to those most at risk: communities of color, young people, gay and bisexual men and women."
In approving the flat-funding levels, a subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee provided no increase for most of the programs in the CARE Act - with the exception of one program, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. However, ADAP, which provides HIV-related prescription drugs to those without access to basic HIV treatment, was increased by only $10 million - falling far short of the funding needed to support the crisis conditions this program faces. Despite the insufficient funding levels for these critical programs, the appropriations subcommittee disappointingly increased funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs by $11 million overall.
"Abstinence-until-marriage programs are based on bad science. Good science tells us more is needed for the programs the House is shortchanging. Clearly, politics is getting in the way of science," added Solmonese. "This issue cannot be viewed in a vacuum. The Ryan White CARE Act is a prayer of last resort. Because Medicaid cuts are forcing more Americans into Ryan White CARE Act programs, shortchanging this program will have a devastating effect."
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 bipartisan piece of legislation 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.
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