HIV/AIDS Groups Demonstrate At Capitol Rotunda, Call For Action On Domestic, Global Epidemics
Twenty-six people representing a coalition of five HIV/AIDS groups from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York were arrested on Thursday for unlawfully demonstrating in the Capitol rotunda, the AP/Washington Post reports (7/9). According to Politico, the protestors were demanding "congressional action on three AIDS priorities: the end of the federal ban on syringe exchange, increased housing funding for [people living with AIDS] and significant increases in U.S. international AIDS contributions" (McGrane, 7/9). The group contends that the Obama "administration's budget proposal 'essentially flatlines global AIDS funding,'" CNN.com reports.
In a statement, Omolola Adele-Oso of DC Fights Back, said, "HIV is not in recession. So why are we bailing out the bankers with $9 trillion, but breaking promises to fund life-saving AIDS programs in the U.S. and around the world at a fraction of that cost?" (7/9). Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), in an interview about the protest said, "I don't know if that's the most effective way to do it, but it does draw public attention to the issue," according to the Hill. McDermott also "stressed the importance of overturning the ban on funding needle-exchange programs, saying that such a program is cheaper than the cost of treating HIV/AIDS patients who contracted the disease by using unclean needles" (Yager, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.