It’s budget season, and as you’ve probably heard funds for health and prevention programs are on the chopping block nationwide. We’re busy reminding lawmakers that investing now in HIV prevention and care services will save billions in the long run.
In Massachusetts alone, it is estimated that without the programs we had in place from 1998-2008 we would have seen an additional 4,085 HIV cases in our state, resulting in over $1.5 billion in health care costs, not to mention the challenges each of these people would have faced managing a life-threatening disease.
Last week, the Ways & Means Committee of the Massachusetts House of Representatives released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins July 1. The committee recommended $2 million in cuts to programs that serve people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk of HIV/AIDS. If these cuts are implemented, it will mark the third year in a row that funding for HIV/AIDS has been cut and it will devastate programs that coordinate care for people with HIV—which directly impacts their ability to stay healthy.
Last year’s cut resulted in reduced prevention and screening programs, residential support services, non-medical case management for persons living with HIV/AIDS, and elimination of the regional Service Coordination Collaborative (SCC) system.
You can help us beat back state budget cuts by taking action now . If you’re interested in joining us on Beacon Hill for Lobby Day on Tuesday, May 3rd, please contact Larry Day at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
At the Federal Level
On federal budget issues we work in partnership with AIDS United , a national advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. AIDS United has been working to maintain and expand federal funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and care as budget proposals continue to emerge. Learn more about the state of federal budget advocacy on the AIDS United Blog .