Washington, DC – Yesterday, President Donald Trump released his administration’s detailed FY 2018 Budget. AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC and The AIDS Institute join together to oppose the draconian cuts proposed by the Administration including many programs that are essential for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs.
“The country has made great progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS and STDs, but if these cuts are enacted, we will turn back the clock, resulting in more new infections, fewer patients receiving care, and ultimately, more suffering from diseases that are preventable and treatable.” said Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.
The President’s budget proposes to cut CDC’s HIV prevention programs by $149 million or 19 percent, cut CDC’s STD prevention programs by $27 million or 17 percent since FY 2016, totally eliminate the Ryan White Program’s AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) and the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) programs, eliminate the HHS Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, reduce SAMHSA’s Minority AIDS Initiative programs, and cut the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program at HUD by $26 million.
Jesse Milan, Jr., President & CEO of AIDS United stated, “We have seen historic decreases in the number of new HIV infections over the past six years because of sustained investments in prevention, and we have thousands of HIV positive Americans who have yet to achieve viral suppression through treatment programs. By cutting funding, the work we have done will be reversed, and all the work left to do will falter and put the health of our nation at risk.”
“President Trump’s proposal to reduce CDC’s STD prevention work comes at a moment of national crisis when we are seeing the highest STD rates in 20 years. If enacted, this will devastate our ability to prevent and treat STDs and it will undermine our ability to prevent HIV. We urge Congress to reject these extreme cuts and increase STD, HIV and public health funding,” said David C. Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
“I fear that these cuts signal the Administration’s lack of empathy for people living with or at risk for HIV,” said Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC. “President Trump’s proposal to eliminate or dramatically cut many of these programs will increase the racial and socio-economic disparities we see in communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. This budget will hurt the most vulnerable, and Congress must consider it a non-starter.”
Murray C. Penner, Executive Director of NASTAD concluded, “Together we will fight these cuts at every stage of the appropriations process. We need to protect these programs that provide life-saving treatment for those living with HIV and work to prevent the spread of HIV and STDs. We trust that Congress will agree and recognize that these cuts are harmful, short-sighted, and will damage our nation’s public health infrastructure.”
AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations focused on ending HIV in the U.S. They have been working in partnership to identify and share resources to sustain successes and progress we have made in HIV and STD prevention, care and treatment in the United States.