February 15, 2011
This article was cross-posted with permission from the blog "kenyonfarrow.com."
Today the White House Office on National AIDS Policy hosted a conference call on the Administration's budget request -- what's in it for people living with HIV and/or for the LGBT community. While we've heard in the press that the new budget includes cuts in most social spending domestically, there is actually increased funding in most HIV-related programs. You can read what they're proposing for HIV/AIDS online.
But one point of interest for me is the $940 million for AIDS drug assistance programs (ADAP), an increase of $80 million above 2010 levels to support access to life saving HIV-related medications for approximately 13,000 additional people living with HIV/AIDS.This is particularly important as there are now 6000+ people on waiting lists around the country whom states have dropped from ADAP rolls, in an effort to save $$ from their dwindling coffers.
Health Care Reform would provided more opportunities for people with HIV/AIDS to have health insurance, mostly due to ending pre-exisiting condition bans by private insurers, and by making Medicaid more accessible by raising the income requirements.
None of this will happen of course, if the Republicans have their way with the budget. According to AmFAR, here's the GOP's proposed HIV/AIDS cuts announced late last year:
The question is, how much are the Dems willing to fight for HIV/AIDS prevention, research and treatment? How much are we willing to fight to keep these things funded?
Kenyon Farrow is a journalist who resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. Farrow is the co-editor of Letters From Young Activists: Today's Rebels Speak Out (Nation Books 2005), A New Queer Agenda (Queers for Economic Justice 2010) and the upcoming Stand Up! The Politics of Racial Uplift (South End Press). His work has appeared in publications such as theGrio.com, Bilerico.com, AfterElton.com, Utne Reader, Black Commentator, The Indypendent, City Limits, and in the anthology Spirited: Affirming the Soul of Black Lesbian and Gay Identity (Red Bone Press 2006).
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