Focus on War on Terrorism Hurting HIV/AIDS Efforts, Advocacy Groups Say
Six months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, HIV/AIDS groups say that increased federal funding of the war on terrorism is diverting funds from HIV/AIDS prevention and hurting their efforts, the Detroit News reports. "This is a very, very fearful time for us," Bob Lewis, executive director of the AIDS Consortium of Southeastern Michigan, said. President Bush has proposed keeping federal AIDS spending at $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2003, and Lewis predicts a "fierce" funding battle for non-terrorism-related programs in Congress. "There's going to be an enormous lobbying of Congress over the next eight months -- we are going to be fighting with everyone else trying to hang on to what we have when so much money is being devoted to terrorism," Lewis said. HIV/AIDS efforts are further hampered because donations are "way down," as many donors choose instead to donate to Sept. 11 charities, he added. "This terrible terrorist tragedy unfortunately is also hurting so many people who are struggling to live with AIDS. We're beginning to feel the spillover effect -- and there's more to come," Lewis said (Price, Detroit News, 3/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.