Secretary Thompson affirms
U.S. commitment to fighting AIDS
Department of Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson on Tuesday affirmed the Bush administration’s commitment to fighting AIDS, USA Today reports.
In a speech delivered at the “U.S. AIDS Policy: Entering the Third Decade” forum, Thompson said, “We must remain on the offensive in the war against HIV and AIDS. Make no mistake, this administration is making substantial financial investments in the battle against AIDS.” He said the Administration has proposed a 7.2% increase in the federal health department’s funding of AIDS research and treatment and will allocate $357 million for AIDS vaccine research in the next fiscal year, a 27% increase over current fiscal year funding. He did not, however, comment on the Administration’s decision not to ask Congress for an increase in funding for the Ryan White Act.
In a separate interview with USA Today, Thompson said the Administration will not overturn the ban on federal funding for needle-exchange programs, which have been shown to cut HIV transmission rates among injection-drug users.