President Bush Releases Global and Domestic HIV/AIDS Funding

United States President George W Bush released last February 5, 2008, a budget proposal for a $3.1-trillion funding for global and domestic HIV/AIDS programs. Under this proposal, $4.8 billion would be allocated for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative that forms the bulk of funding for the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, as well as $1.6 billion for child survival and health programs. The proposal would also allocate $200 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

However, the proposal also states that funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration-which administers the Ryan White Program-would be reduced by about $1 billion to $5.8 billion in 2009. But other HRSA HIV/AIDS programs would receive "small increases in spending", including an overall $1.1 million increase for RWP.

In addition, President Bush requested $300 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS to support stable housing, improved access to health care and supportive services for low-income people living with the chronic virus while calling for renewing a ban on city funding for needle-exchange programs in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, AIDS healthcare experts claim that the budget is ignoring the domestic AIDS problem. "This budget shows an irresponsible neglect of our burgeoning domestic epidemic," said President Michael Weinstein of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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