No doubt Christian fundamentalists are fuming right about now. Congress slashed abstinence-only programs from $50 million to $28 million. Those programs, of course, scare the sin into American guppies, thus ensuring they don’t understand – and, in fact, fear – sex. Rather than encouraging such fearful tactics, the government decided to put its money where it counts: HIV funding.
The U.S. Senate Tuesday approved a bill that reduces funding for the Bush supported abstinence education programs by $28.5 million while instead providing approximately $31 million in additional funding for the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act.
Part of the $31 million includes $25 million for AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which means our citizens can start getting the meds they so desperately need.
Human Rights Campaign’s Joe Solmonese applauded the Congressional move, but also warned there’s still work to be done:
The additional funding for the Ryan White CARE Act, while welcomed, unfortunately does not make up for the years of neglect these programs have been forced to endure over the past many years. HIV/AIDS remains a crisis in our nation, especially among communities of color. Although this is an important first step in turning around the pattern of funding cuts, we urge the Senate to consider providing an additional increase for Ryan White so that those on the front lines of the epidemic can meet the significant need for lifesaving services.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our government spent more money on fighting HIV/AIDS than “insurgents”? Sigh…