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Plans Are Made to Counter Proposed Federal Budget Shuffle

Plans Are Made to Counter Proposed Federal Budget Shuffle


Activists have denounced President Bush's announced plans to raise spending on abstinence education. That boost in funding raises concerns, they say, not only because the programs are ineffective but also because other AIDS programs have received only minimal spending increases or have been frozen. Bush's proposed 2005 budget includes $35 million for the nation's cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. But experts say that is $215 million short of the funding needed to eliminate program restrictions enacted to offset shortfalls. 'The Administration is scaling back on domestic AIDS funding just as the epidemic may be showing signs of resurgence,' AIDS Project Los Angeles executive director Craig Thompson says of Bush's proposal. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures show HIV infections among Latinos climbed 26% between 1999 and 2002 and rose 17% among gay and bisexual men in the same period. African-Americans account for more than half of the nation's new HIV cases each year. Advocates say they plan to lobby Congress for a $180 million more for ADAPs this year and to urge lawmakers to boost spending on HIV prevention and treatment programs.

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Bob Adams