AIDS Groups Release Statement Protesting AIDS Research Budget Cuts
The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition on Tuesday released a statement, signed by 16 additional AIDS organizations, protesting a decision made by the Office of Management and Budget to redirect funds from the research budget of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to the bulk purchase of anthrax vaccines. The groups say that the cuts will "severely impact" the number and duration of grants available to study HIV/AIDS and other major infectious diseases and allergies. The groups ask OMB not to "cut corners by shifting money from research into diseases that cause untold deaths around the world every day," calling the move a "short-sighted, misguided policy that pits one disease against another." Instead of "robbing NIH" and delaying research into vaccines and treatments for AIDS and other diseases, OMB "should direct the Department of Homeland Security to fully fund the anthrax vaccine contracts," the statement says. The statement concludes, "We call on OMB and the [Bush] administration to immediately restore the cuts made to the NIAID research budget and urge that a more appropriate funding stream such as DHS is utilized for the bulk purchase of anthrax vaccines." The other groups that signed the statement include ACT UP/Philadelphia, AIDS Action Baltimore, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS Project Los Angeles, AIDS Treatment Data Network, American Foundation for AIDS Research, Cascade AIDS Project, Center for Health and Gender Equity, Florida AIDS Action, Gay Men's Health Crisis, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, National Minority AIDS Council, Project Inform, Title II Community AIDS National Network and Treatment Action Group (AVAC release, 5/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.