By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
President Trump’s proposed “American Budget”, proposes domestic HIV prevention funding to be cut $34.6 million while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program should be slashed by as much as $58 million.
The draconian Trump ‘American Budget’ further would go after funding for the CDC’s overall discretionary fund by as much as $878 million. Doing this would not only jeopardize several effective public health programs that continue top provide preventive care but would also reduce sources in a major way for patient referrals, screenings and assistance in acquiring treatment for the already expensive medications for HIV and AIDS.
Even with the scientific community who are working diligently to create new treatments for HIV/AIDS treatments such as PrEP – to prevent new cases from exploding out of control as it did back in the 80s, Trump’s ‘American Budget’ plan would cut an outrageous $111 million dollars in funding for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Once again the Republicans are taking us backwards as they propose a mere $40 million to support a new CDC Elimination Initiative for what they describe as an “Intensive Prevention” campaign. They also claim that this $40 million dollars would continue to provide screenings, treatments as well as patient referrals and assistance with medications.
The talking point was “These are concrete steps in our efforts to jointly address intersecting diseases including HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and TB”. The so called American Budget does acknowledge the epidemic opioid crisis by proposing $10 billion in new funding and directing those funds towards drug addiction as well as mental health treatment. Now here is the kicker as I always say, Trump’s proposal doesn’t make one single mention of the epidemics of HIV or Hepatitis C.
But what the White House doesn’t tell patients which happen to be voters, is that their draconian plan takes funds away from existing HIV prevention programs to pay for their backwards initiatives.
In this reporter’s opinion, the president is proving once again that HIV and AIDS prevention is the last thing on his administration’s list of priorities and another assault on the LGBTQ community.
The question is, will the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate go along with these draconian proposals? We shall wait and see.
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