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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



GMHC: Analysis shows budget cuts to critical AIDS programs
From a GMHC news release

This article shared 2487 times since Wed Jan 22, 2014
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New York, NY—Following the devastating cuts to federal HIV/AIDS programs caused by sequestration in 2013, the fiscal year 2014 ( FY14 ) budget provides some relief, but not enough. New analysis released today by GMHC illustrates the history of federal funding for key HIV prevention and treatment programs in the context of the growing prevalence of HIV in the U.S. This analysis illustrates that amidst a $130 million decrease in funding since 2012 for the CDC's Division of HIV Prevention, Ryan White programs, and Housing Opportunities for People Living with AIDS-critical funding streams for organizations like GMHC serving those most in need—the estimated U.S. population living with HIV will be approximately 1,300,000 by the end of 2014, an increase of approximately 34,000 new infections ( see chart below ).

"Just as the HIV/AIDS community is working towards ending the epidemic levels of HIV nationally, extremists in Congress continue to pull the rug right out from under us," said Janet Weinberg, GMHC's Interim CEO. "This is yet another example of do we have the political will to end this epidemic. They cry poor to justify penny pinching with the lives of people living at the intersection of HIV, poverty and homelessness. However, their cuts will likely increase the prevalence of HIV, which further increases the cost and duration of the epidemic. FY14 appropriations for the critical treatment and prevention funding streams included in our analysis represent just 0.3 percent of the overall $1.1 trillion budget. Congress has the money to fully restore funding to fight HIV/AIDS. It's simply not choosing to do so."

Under sequestration, funding for these critical prevention and treatment programs decreased nationwide by over $230 million. For GMHC, these cuts led to layoffs and significant reductions across programs and services, including 13,000 less pantry meals, 500 less legal and advocacy services hours for clients facing eviction and other threats to their health and well-being, and new waiting lists for people in need of crisis support and mental health counseling.

The FY14 budget only restores approximately $100 million, preventing organizations like GMHC across the country from returning programs and services to their pre-sequestration levels. Additionally, it completely cuts the "Hold Harmless" provision of the Ryan White CARE Act. Implemented since 1996, Hold Harmless provided additional resources to New York City and other epicenters of the epidemic to help prevent catastrophic shifts in funding as the epidemic changes. Rather than continue this controlled and measured allocation process, the FY14 budget immediately redistributes over $21 million in funds. As a result, we estimate that the New York City metropolitan area will see a net loss of between $3 and $5 million in Ryan White funding, despite the small increase in overall funding included in the FY14 budget.

"The loss of Hold Harmless adds insult to injury to the over 9,000 New Yorkers who come to GMHC for programs and services," said Jason Cianciotto, GMHC's Director of Public Policy. "We fought hard to successfully end sequestration, and along with the 30 members of AIDS United's Public Policy Committee, representing organizations across the country, we presented a unified voice in support of maintaining Hold Harmless to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. In the end, the same extremists who caused the government shutdown refused to include our proposal in the budget."

"For over 30 years, GMHC has been a place of support, refuge, and hope for people living with HIV," concluded Janet Weinberg. "We fought through the time when our government refused to even acknowledge HIV. We fought through the dark days before anti-retroviral therapies. And we will continue to fight to ensure that people living with HIV have access to the care and services they need no matter what Congress throws at us."

About Gay Men's Health Crisis

GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to leading the fight against AIDS on a national platform. We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by HIV/AIDS in New York City. We also advocate scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. Our mission: GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplifts the lives of all affected. For more information, visit .

This article shared 2487 times since Wed Jan 22, 2014
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