Sequestration will devestate domestic hiv/aids and viral-hepatitis programs

Sequestration Will Cut $659 Million from Domestic HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Programs
October 16th, 2012

Lifesaving AIDS treatment access eliminated for over 15,000; thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS lose housing support and risk homelessness; more Americans at risk for hepatitis infection.

The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) Urge Congress and the President to Prevent Devastating Cuts.

Sequestration issue briefs are available for download below:

Estimating the Human Impact of Budget Sequestration on HIV/AIDS in the United States in Fiscal Year 2013 (NMAC) (PDF, 734 KB) and (amfAR) (PDF, 751 KB)

Sequestration Impacts on Federal Funding for State HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Programs (NASTAD) (PDF, 727 KB)

Washington, DC – Today, NMAC, amfAR, and NASTAD released two issue briefs outlining $659 million in automatic spending cuts to HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs that will occur as the result of sequestration. These are federal programs that provide life-saving care and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis and work to prevent new infections and reduce health care costs over time. Unless Congress and the President come to an agreement on a different way to reduce the federal deficit, these cuts will automatically occur on January 2, 2013.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections each year, approximately 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and about 5.3 million people living with viral hepatitis in the United States.

“These cuts will have a devastating impact and will be yet another blow for low-income individuals and people of color living with HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis at a time when we can least afford it. Investing in our health care infrastructure will reduce long-term health care costs for chronic conditions like HIV and viral hepatitis, is the right thing to do, and is critical if we are to end these twin epidemics” concluded Kali Lindsey, Director of Legislative and Public Affairs at NMAC.

“Sequestration will undermine everything we’ve done to accomplish the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) goals of reducing HIV incidence and death,” said Chris Collins, Vice President and Director of Public Policy at amfAR. “Budget cuts through sequestration would bring crucial life-saving research at the National Institutes of Health to a halt, squandering enormous scientific opportunities including AIDS vaccine and cure research.”

“Our nation’s health departments already have to make tough decisions about cutting jobs and critical health services. Now more than ever, we need our nation to commit to providing state health departments with the resources necessary to end the HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis epidemics once and for all. Supporting the critical infrastructure and the work of health departments makes both public health and economic sense,” commented Terrance Moore, Director of Policy and Health Equity at NASTAD.

The estimated human impact of sequestration on domestic HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs means:

15,708 people will lose access to crucial life-saving drugs
5,000 households will lose housing support
460 AIDS research grants will be eliminated
412 people living with HIV will not be diagnosed
$65.2 million in HIV prevention services will be cut
$1.6 million in viral hepatitis prevention services will be cut

These cuts amount to an 8.2 percent reduction in funding for most non-defense discretionary programs based on a calculation using fiscal year 2012 spending levels.

Kyle Murphy (NMAC)
202-483-6622, x333 Cub Barrett (amfAR)
212-806-1602 Meico Whitlock (NASTAD)

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