The President is recommending increased funding in 3 areas that are vital to meeting the goals set in his National HIV/AIDS Strategy: treatment, health care, and prevention. He has proposed a $67 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides treatment to low-income uninsured and under-insured people living with HIV.
ADAPs around the country have struggled for years to provide services to everyone in need, with many states forced to institute waiting lists and other cost-containment measures. Virginia is ranked #1 on the wait-list with about 1,000 persons. If approved by Congress, the increase would greatly help stabilize access to treatment next year while we prepare for implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The President has also recommended a $20 million increase for Part C of the Ryan White Program, which funds primary health care for people with HIV around the country. Finally, the budget proposes a $40 million increase in HIV prevention activities, which is crucial to achieving the Strategy’s goals of reducing new HIV infections.
President proposed to once again lift the federal funding ban on syringe exchange programs. This ban was lifted in 2009, but reinstated last year as part of negotiating a compromise spending bill, an extremely disappointing loss for science-based prevention. It all sounds good but has to be approved by Congress which we know is a area of non-movement or budget cuts. Also, where is the money coming from I ask when the country is broke?