Thanks to the 5.3 percent across-the-board cut to most non-defense discretionary federal programs known as the “sequester,” as many as 15,000 Americans will lose access to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), according to a recent report released by amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.
The sequester is the result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was initially aimed at reducing the federal deficit. After a bipartisan deficit reduction committee failed to propose a plan to reduce the deficit by the March 1 deadline, automatic budget cuts were imposed to the tune of $1.2 trillion.
Particularly hard hit are HIV/AIDS advocacy, research and prevention efforts, which are set to lose out on millions in funding over the next decade if the sequester holds, according to amFAR.
“A cut in domestic HIV/AIDS programs of 8.2 percent will have a devastating impact on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) while providing negligible deficit reduction. It will undercut America’s leadership in health research, and will impede the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals of reducing the rate of new HIV infections, improving access to lifesaving care, and reducing HIV-related health disparities,” the amFAR report states.
Georgia will see more than 500 low-income individuals who rely on ADAP funding to receive life-saving treatments lose their access to care, one of eight states that will see such a large loss in coverage.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is also slated to lose a substantial amount of funding for HIV awareness and prevention efforts. The CDC could lose as much as $64.7 million thanks to the sequester, amFAR reports.