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Concerns that debt deal could cut critical HIV/AIDS funding

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HRC, of course, isn't worried. Because, after all, when has the Obama administration ever not come through for progressives in a budget negotiation? From Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

The resolution of the debt ceiling negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders has HIV/AIDS advocates concerned that federal funds for prevention and drug initiatives could be on the chopping block as a result of the agreement.

The agreement — which enables President Obama to raise the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion and eliminates the need for another increase until 2013 — also requires a total of nearly $2.5 trillion in spending cuts to reduce the federal deficit, which could affect federally funded HIV/AIDS programs.

Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of the AIDS Institute, said any cuts to federal spending as a result of the deal will likely “impact HIV programs in a negative way.”

“There will be less money to go around and it will be more competition over that smaller amount of funding,” Schmid said. “And there can be direct cuts to our programs particularly if they are taken across the board. Not going in the right direction if we are going to end AIDS let alone prevent new infections and provide care and treatment to people with HIV/AIDS.”

All federal funding of discretionary HIV/AIDS programs could see an impact as a result of the decision, Schmid said, including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and AIDS research programs. Additionally, Schmid said AIDS Drug Assistance Programs could be cut and already lengthy wait lists to receive medication through this program could be extended..
AIDS advocates are worried -- and should be.

HRC, not so much:
Fred Sainz, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, said any concerns HRC would have over the debt deal depends on what cuts to federal programs are eventually made. However, he noted for time being, those cuts have yet to be identified and maintained it's too early to cry foul.

"We are consulting with our coalition partners to better assess the situation," Sainz said. "We would be concerned, for instance, if programs that fund critical HIV/AIDS were cut. There is no knowledge yet so we’re not in a position to know."
Yeah, why be proactive? That might involve criticizing the Obama administration.

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