Sequestration: Public Health Pays a Price

Attitude

Infographic_HIV

For more than 30 years the U.S. has invested in public health programs and research to fight HIV/AIDS.  Now HIV infection is a chronically managed condition with far fewer people dying from AIDS. Now there is the possibility of Ending AIDS. But agencies need adequate funding to make that so. Among other things, successful intervention in an epidemic requires educating medical professionals and the public, along with outreach, referrals, and health care for those at-risk or infected. Since 2008, however, budget cuts have resulted in the loss of more than 46,000 public health jobs while other positions have been furloughed.

Now sequestration is having its effects. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have seen an additional 5%, or $285 million in cuts (actually the overall FY 2012 to FY 2013 reduction to CDC’s program level funding was $580 million dollars!). Ending AIDS will require wide-scale HIV screening along with

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ACT UP vs. Paul Ryan

by Dan Royles

Via Joe.My.God.: Two protesters interrupted Paul Ryan at the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, shouting, “Corporations are not people! Take the money out!” Although one of the women identified herself only as a “concerned citizen,” the other told reporters that she represented ACT UP Philadelphia, and in classic ACT UP fashion, had a bag full of press releases at the ready.

In the mid-90s, ACT UP Philadelphia began recruiting lower income people of color into the organization while other chapters nationwide went into decline. Along with the shift in membership, which reflected the “changing face of AIDS,” the group intensified its focus on issues of economic inequality in the AIDS pandemic, both at home and around the globe. In 2000, protesters from ACT UP Philadelphia and sister group Health GAP followed Al Gore on the campaign trail, demanding that generic HIV drugs be made available to the developing world. Their efforts have led some to credit the group(s) in part for George W. Bush’s announcement of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003.