US: What Do AIDS Groups Say About Trump’s 2019 Budget Proposal?

Earlier this week, Trump released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2019. As The AIDS Institute points out, the domestic cuts include:

  • $58 million from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
  • $40 million from HIV programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • $26 million from AIDS housing programs

What’s more, despite a 300 percent increase in new cases of hepatitis C, which is a common coinfection among people with HIV, Trump’s suggested budget does not increase funding for the CDC’s viral hepatitis programs.

“Congress has soundly rejected these proposed cuts in the past, and we trust they will do so again,” said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute, in the group’s statement on Trump’s budget. “Additionally, since Congress has yet to finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill, we continue to urge them to increase CDC viral hepatitis programs by $100 million to address the rapid rise in new viral hepatitis, HIV and [sexually transmitted infections] associated with injection drug use.”

Other HIV groups highlighted additional problems with the 2019 budget. Fenway Health, a Boston-based group that advocates for the LGBT and HIV/AIDS populations, noted that Trump’s proposal ends the expansion of state Medicaid programs that occurred under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). Medicaid expansion has been pivotal to providing health insurance coverage to people living with HIV.

What’s more, according to Fenway Health, the budget allows work requirements as a condition for eligibility for Medicaid. It also endangers $3.6 billion in funding to community health centers, which serve vulnerable groups such as Black, Latino, HIV-positive and low-income individuals. Read more via Poz


“The proposed cuts in domestic HIV prevention and treatment would undermine the dramatic progress seen since the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” said Sean Cahill, PhD, Fenway’s director of health policy research. “This budget proposes a radical rejection of the social compact that has sustained our country for half a century.”