AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition
(An affiliated workgroup of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership)
January 13, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
We are writing on behalf of the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition (ABAC), a working group of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership, to thank you for your strong continued commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS in the United States. We thank you for your bold and compassionate address this past World AIDS Day when you announced your Administration’s commitment “to ending the AIDS pandemic once and for all” and your pledge to fight against HIV “today, tomorrow, every day until we get to zero.”
While we understand the modest increase to ADAP and to the NIH, and in this budget environment, level funding for other parts of the Ryan White Program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative in the final FY 2012 appropriation, we are concerned with the cuts to several crucial HIV/AIDS programs and the harmful policy riders that were included in the final bill. Specifically, we are concerned with:
1) The reinstatement of the federal funding ban on syringe exchange programs;
2) A cut of $10 million—a reduction of twenty-five percent—to the CDC’s HIV Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH);
3) The resurrection of dedicated discretionary funding for ineffective and non-evidence based abstinence-only-until-marriage programs; and
4) A cut of $2.3 million to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) at HUD.
As you develop your FY 2013 budget request, we ask that these cuts be restored and that you not include the harmful syringe exchange policy rider and the wasteful abstinence-only-until-marriage program funding. Additionally, we encourage you to provide adequate funding increases for other critical domestic HIV/AIDS programs in order to fulfill the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, including HIV prevention at the CDC, all parts of the Ryan White Program, HOPWA and AIDS research at the NIH. These increases are even more necessary now considering the across the board funding cuts and potential sequestration that will take effect in early 2013.
Again, we thank you for your continued leadership and support, and look forward to working with you and your Administration in the coming year on the FY 2013 budget. If you have any questions, please contact the ABAC co-chairs Donna Crews at email@example.com, Jen Heitel Yakush at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Carl Schmid at email@example.com.
Director of Government Affairs
Jen Heitel Yakush
Director of Public Policy
Deputy Executive Director
The AIDS Institute