Massachusetts HIV/AIDS Programs Must Be Prepared To Meet ‘New Challenges,’ Letter to Editor Says
An April 17 Boston Globe editorial was "right on the mark" about protecting funding for Massachusetts' AIDS programs, Rebecca Haag, executive director of the Boston-based AIDS Action Committee, writes in a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe (Haag, Boston Globe, 4/22). The Globe last week said that the Massachusetts Legislature and Gov. Mitt Romney (R) should not continue to cut funding for the Department of Health's AIDS Bureau to lessen the state's $3 billion deficit, as no other budget issue carries such "life-and-death implications" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/17). Haag says that the proposed funding cuts for the state's HIV/AIDS programs will lead to less prevention education and testing and "fewer services for those already infected." Although education, medical advances and "continued vigilance" from AIDS advocates have made "tremendous gains" in the fight against HIV/AIDS, "[c]learly, the fight is not over," Haag says, adding that although "we have come a long way" since the beginning of the epidemic, "there is still much to be done." Haag concludes, "As the disease evolves, we have to ensure that our programs and services are equipped to meet its new challenges," adding, "There are no easy choices with today's fiscal realities. If we retreat from our battle against HIV/AIDS now, we don't just lose progress, we lose lives" (Haag, Boston Globe, 4/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.