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February 2009
Volume 19 Issue 2
Policy and Advocacy
Stimulus Funding May Go Toward ID Research, HIV/AIDS Prevention

The federal economic stimulus package signed into law this month includes a $650-million fund for prevention and wellness programs aimed at chronic diseases. HIVMA will be working with partners to include funding for HIV prevention. The package also includes $10.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for grant-making and infrastructure projects. Funding for research grants will prioritize those that can show achievement within two years.

As Congress worked to pass the stimulus bill, HIVMA and IDSA urged lawmakers to include funding for health care provisions and opposed the removal of funds for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) prevention.

In a joint letter to Congress and a press statement, IDSA and HIVMA supported funding for vaccines, health promotion, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other wellness and prevention programs. The statement emphasized the cost-effectiveness of these provisions and the potential for job creation in health departments that the stimulus funding offered. (A version of the press statement was posted in Congress Blog from The Hill, a newspaper read by members of Congress and their staffs.)

Earlier in the process, an IDSA/HIVMA statement from HIVMA Chair Arlene Bardeguez, MD, MPH, opposed the removal of funding for screening and prevention of STDs and HIV. In addition to noting the cost-effectiveness of prevention funding, the statement charged that singling out STD prevention funding for criticism was an ideological attack not rooted in public health reality.
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