Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Obama’s Budget Includes More Money for AIDS

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Observer Update) - President Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2010 includes increased funding for domestic HIV prevention and treatment programs as well as billions for overseas AIDS services through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launched by the Bush Administration six years ago, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

A notation in the budget proposal also notes that funding increases for domestic HIV programs will be used to target underserved populations. However, the budget proposal does not include detailed funding allocations for specific programs, only broad financial requests for issues like “foreign assistance” and “domestic health programs.” The specific funding requests will be released by the administration in April.

AIDS groups told the Washington Blade that they are encouraged by the administration’s budget proposal and the president’s appointment of a new director for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, which had been vacant for several years under the Bush administration.

“President Obama is following through in his commitment to fighting domestic HIV/AIDS by singling out in his fiscal year 2010 budget blueprint increased resources” for domestic AIDS programs, Michael Ruppal, interim executive director of the AIDS Institute, a national AIDS advocacy group, told the Blade, reported advocate.com.

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