UPDATE: This campaign will be renamed, for more information click here.
The truth is, we know how to end this epidemic. We have the scientific tools and community spirit to do so - but for all our collective will and good intentions we can’t do it without financial resources and informed elected officials. We must fight like never before to Save Our Services.
In short, the President’s budget would decimate essential health care services and social programs our communities depend on. Here are just a few, although terrifying, impacts this budget could have in the fight against HIV:
- 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
- Additionally, this budget would 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.
- Not only that but this budget would cut $610 billion from Medicaid - one of the largest payers of insurance for people living with HIV.
- These cuts will also lead to over one million fewer HIV tests each year meaning thousands of people will be unaware of their status leading to over 30,00 more people becoming HIV-positive.
This proposed budget is enraging not only because it would negatively affect those living with HIV but because it would severely impact communities of color and low-income populations - populations that data has shown to be most at risk for HIV. We have come too far to go back now and I refuse to believe that our hard-won victories could be for nothing and that we could see a resurgence of the HIV epidemic in the United States.
That’s why over the next 60 days, NMAC’s chief priority is getting local HIV leaders to meet with their Congressional delegates during the August recess and in Washington, DC this September for the official 2017 HIV/STD Action Day to make their voices heard and Save Our Services. Visit our campaign’s website where you can gain more information about the damaging consequences of this budget, learn about ways you can get involved, and sign up to receive SOS alerts.
Now is your chance to stand up, stand out, and speak up to those who might otherwise deny you and your communities the services they need to survive. Right now, your movement needs YOU because if we don’t fight to save our services...who will?
Yours in the Struggle,