Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eliminated all state funding for most of the state's HIV programs.

California dealt a staggering blow to people with HIV/AIDS this week when Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated all state funding for most of the state's HIV programs.

In an unprecedented move, the governor slashed more than $489 million from essential health and human services and programs this week. Included in these are roughly $82 million from HIV programs.General funding for the following programs have been eliminated:

HIV Education and Prevention - $24.6 million
HIV Counseling and Testing - $8.2 million
Therapeutic Monitoring - $8 million
Housing - $1.09 million
Home and Community-Based Care - $6.3 million
Early Intervention - $7.3 million

Governor Schwarzenegger also made cuts to the following programs:
Epidemiology & Surveillance - reduced by $1 million to $9.2 million.
AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) - reduced by $25 million to $70.8 million. But the governor did allow $25 million to be shifted into the program from the ADAP rebate fund, almost guaranteeing shortfalls in ADAP next year.

This is unacceptable. These cuts will have a devastating effect on California's ability to care for people with HIV and to prevent new infections.Now more than ever, we need you to fight.What You Can Do: State leaders need to hear from all of us over the next few weeks.

Rather than a single action, we are asking you to be a part of a number of efforts:
1. Contact Governor Schwarzenegger and state leaders by e-mail now. Tell them these cuts are unacceptable. It's easy using APLA's In The Loop. Click here to send your e-mail. 2. Join one of the protests that are taking place around the state now. We'll keep you posted on these demonstrations as soon as we get more information.3. Call your state assemblymember and express your outrage at the cuts. Tell them that they must take action to correct this injustice!

**** To find your CA legislators and their phone numbers, go to this link and enter your zip code. ****

Phone Call To State Assemblymember:"Hi, my name is ___________, and I'm calling to express my anger at the elimination of state funding for HIV programs.

This is inexcusable. The state has done the unthinkable and truly balanced the state budget this time on the back of the most vulnerable-- the sick and disabled. More than $80 million has been eliminated from HIV programs. I recognize the serious budget crisis facing the state, and am prepared to take cuts to help share the necessary pain. However, there is no justification for gutting essential services that have been part of a model response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic for almost two decades.

There were alternatives to these major cuts, particularly new revenue increases, such as the $1.1 billion in available revenues that the Assembly failed to approve, and which could have prevented this devastating result. I demand that you correct this and restore funding to our state's HIV programs!"

ABOUT APLA:
AIDS Project Los Angeles is dedicated to: improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease; reducing the incidence of HIV infection; and advocating for fair and effective HIV-related public policy. For more information visit http://www.apla.org/

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