NMAC Launches Campaign to Fight Proposed Cuts to HIV Services

Today, NMAC Launches “Save Our Services,” an innovative campaign created to empower Americans across the country in fighting the proposed federal budget cuts that would cause severe harm to vital HIV treatment and prevention services.

SOS will enlist the advocacy of community volunteers to contact their representatives in Congress both in their home offices during the August recess and on Capitol Hill for the official  “HIV/STD Action Day” on Sept. 6. This Day of Action will precede the opening of NMAC’s annual U.S. Conference on AIDS, which will run from Sept. 7 – 10. More information about “Save Our Services” can be found at nmac.org/sos.“We are at a critical point in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The real possibility of ending the epidemic is in sight but only if we continue to use and fund the current tools we already have.,” said Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC. “Through methods like Treatment as Prevention and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, we have seen drastic reductions in new infections around the country. But that progress is threatened by the cuts proposed by this Administration to HIV/AIDS services. These cuts could lead to a resurgence of HIV in America just as we have found a path to potentially end it.

If passed, the president’s budget would:

  • Eliminate the Secretary Minority AIDS Initiative FUND (SMAIF), a program that provides over $50 million in funding that helps get and keep people of color in care.
  • Decrease funding to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program by $59 million thereby eliminating AIDS Education and Training Centers which would make it all but impossible for clients seeking HIV-related services to do so.
  • Cut $610 billion from Medicaid – one of the largest payers of insurance for people living with HIV.
  • Result in over one million fewer HIV tests each year, meaning thousands of people will be unaware of their status leading to over 30,000 more people becoming HIV-positive.

“These cuts would deprive communities of color – which are more greatly impacted by HIV – from vital treatment and prevention services,” said Kawata. “Make no mistake: these proposed cuts would lead to more people becoming sick, becoming HIV-positive, or even dying. We absolutely cannot back down in the fight against HIV/AIDS now that we are so close to a final victory in this decades-long fight.”