For Immediate Release:
Thursday, June 7, 2007
SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES FY 2008 LABOR-HHS APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Legislation Is a Mixed Bag for HIV/AIDS Programs
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education approved a fiscal year 2008 appropriations bill that contains both good and bad news for domestic HIV/AIDS programs.
The bill provides approximately $100 million in new funding for the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act and $63 million for HIV prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"After the repeated cuts and flat-funding that these programs have been forced to endure over the past many years, we are pleased to see that Congress is allocating new and vital resources to these lifesaving programs," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "HIV/AIDS remains a crisis across this country, particularly among gay and bisexual men and communities of color. Increased funding is crucial for those on the front lines of HIV/AIDS to keep pace with the epidemic."
Unfortunately, the bill also contains a substantial $27.8 million increase for unproven, anti-gay abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. These programs have been found to routinely teach medically inaccurate information about contraception and HIV/AIDS and mandate teaching that sex outside of a heterosexual marriage "is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects." In April 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services released a federally funded report conducted by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. that found that these programs have no impact as youth who participated in these programs showed no difference in either the age they first had sex or in the number of partners from those who had not participated in an abstinence-only-until-marriage program.
"With mountains of evidence that these programs are medically inaccurate, ineffective and value ideology over scientific fact, we are extremely disappointed that Congress would increase their funding by such a considerable amount," continued Solmonese. "We continue to call on Congress to fund HIV prevention based on science and proven effectiveness."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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