Gay group question US Aids budget

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A gay human rights group has raised uncertainty over President George Bush’s budget proposal in regards to HIV and AIDS, released this month.

The Human Rights Campaign believe his ideas present a mixed bag on the illness with modest funding increases in care and treatment programmes, additional cuts in Medicaid, and an increase in abstinence only programmes.

Joe Solmonese, HRC President said: “For the sake of hundreds of thousands of Americans living with HIV and AIDS, we can and we must do more.”

“We welcome the President’s attention to the critical needs facing HIV/AIDS programs, yet the new funding does not make up for the years of shortcomings and huge proposed cuts that may harm beneficiaries in other areas.”

The largest proposed HIV/AIDS increase is for the President’s $188 million domestic AIDS initiative with money split between the Ryan White CARE Act and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We need a comprehensive and targeted strategy to combat this virus – particularly in at-risk communities and among people of colour,” said Mr Solmonese.

“Attention to this continually growing trend is long overdue.”

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