Sequester could lead to massive cuts in HIV testing, treatment
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program is among the many federal programs that will take a hit if $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts go through March 1, and those cuts could potentially lead to an increase in HIV transmission, the White House said Sunday in a report on the anticipated state-by-state impacts of the so-called sequester.
The report — part of the Obama administration’s public campaign to encourage a compromise between Congress and the White House in order to avoid the austerity measures — says the budget cuts could lead to a drop in access to life-saving HIV medications and an increase in treatment costs for those infected with the virus.
“Cuts to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program could result in 7,400 fewer patients having access to life saving HIV medications,” the report says. “And approximately 424,000 fewer HIV tests could be conducted by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) State grantees, which could result in increased future HIV transmissions, deaths from HIV, and costs in health care.”