President Bush's budget plan for fiscal year 2003 includes a total of $12.9 billion to fight HIV and AIDS -- an increase of $906 million, or 8 percent, over the current year's appropriation, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today.
"We must do more to prevent and treat this terrible disease, which continues to ravage the lives of millions of people in America and around the world," Secretary Thompson said. "We are leading the world on AIDS research and doing our part to stem the tide of this global epidemic."
Under the President's budget plan, HHS would receive a total of $12.9 billion to fund its HIV/AIDS programs. Specifically, HHS' proposed fiscal year 2003 budget supports:
· Research into vaccines and treatment. HHS' budget allocates $2.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research on HIV and AIDS -- a $255 million, or 10 percent increase, above the current year's funding level. The NIH budget includes $422 million for AIDS vaccine research -- a 24 percent increase over the previous year and nearly triple the fiscal year 1998 funding level.
· Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. HHS' budget includes $939 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stop the disease's spread -- about the same as provided for in the fiscal year 2002 budget. Of those resources, CDC would devote $795 million to support HIV prevention programs in the United States, including efforts to reducing the number of people at high risk for acquiring or transmitting the virus; increasing HIV testing efforts; linking infected individuals with appropriate care and treatment; and strengthening the nation's ability to monitor the epidemic and respond effectively. In addition, CDC would dedicate $144 million to promote prevention strategies and programs across the globe, including expanded efforts in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
· Improving efforts to care for those living with HIV/AIDS. HHS' budget would allocate $1.9 billion -- the same as the current year -- to fund Ryan White treatment programs, which would continue to provide care and services to an estimated 500,000 Americans. About $639 million of this funding would be available for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides medications to about 85,000 people. Ryan White spending has grown rapidly in recent years, up about 66 percent since fiscal year 1998.
· Helping international efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. HHS' portion of the President's budget includes $100 million for the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Maleria and Tuberculosis -- bringing HHS' two-year contribution up to $200 million. The U.S. Agency for International Development also would contribute $100 million in fiscal year 2003. With these new contributions, the United States will have met its commitment of $500 million for this effort.
· Addressing HIV/AIDS among minorities. HHS' budget would allocate $410 million for efforts targeted specifically at reducing the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on racial and ethnic minorities. This includes $105 million to expand treatment and services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and $50 million for the Minorities Community Fund support infrastructure development, technical assistance, prevention and treatment strategies and education in affected communities, as well as $124 million under the Ryan White program, $116 million foor community-based prevention activities at the CDC, and other resources at the NIH and other HHS offices and agencies.
"We must remain on the offensive in the battle against HIV/AIDS," Secretary Thompson said. "We have much work yet to do. HHS and this administration will continue our fight to reduce the impact of this epidemic, both at home and abroad."