Funds in Bush’s Proposed Budget ‘Shifted’ Away From International Health Programs Addressing Issues Other Than HIV/AIDS
Despite Bush's pledge of $10 billion in new spending over five years to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean, other international health initiatives would be scaled back under Bush's proposed budget, the Boston Globe reports. Funds for infectious diseases other than HIV/AIDS would be cut from $185 million to $104.4 million, and programs to promote maternal and child health would receive $384.6 million, compared to the initially proposed amount of $495 million, according to the Globe (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 2/5). President Bush last week in his State of the Union address proposed spending $15 billion over five years to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean, a plan which includes $10 billion in new money. Under the plan, new funds averaging an additional $2 billion per year would be phased in gradually to supplement the $1 billion per year the government now spends on AIDS, with a total of $1 billion of the new funding going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29). According to an analysis completed yesterday by the Global Health Council, Bush's proposed FY 2004 budget includes $1.86 billion for HIV/AIDS, an amount short of the $2 billion figure cited in the State of the Union address but a "jump" from last year's proposed HIV/AIDS spending of $804 million, the Globe reports. Nils Daulaire, head of the Global Health Council and a former USAID official, said that budget cuts for maternal health and child survival programs show that funding to fight AIDS may not be "entirely new," according to the Globe. "Simply shifting money into AIDS is at very best a neutral shift, or a relabeling of money, which is contrary to the intent of the president to provide additional funding," Daulaire said. Bush administration officials did not return calls for comment regarding the analysis, the Globe reports (Boston Globe, 2/5).
CDC Programs To Prevent Vertical Transmission Receive $150M
CDC programs to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean would receive a "significant boost" in funding under Bush's proposed fiscal year 2004 budget, but the proposed budget for the agency itself would increase only 1%, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. CDC programs aimed at preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission in those regions would receive $150 million, according to the Journal-Constitution. Other CDC initiatives, including those that target the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS would be funded at similar or slightly lower levels than in 2003, the Journal-Constitution reports. William Gimson, CDC chief operating officer, said the 1% increase is "modest" but "reasonable during these economic times" (McKenna, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/5).