The President and the Vice- President slash money from HIV prevention budgets

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Republican presidential elect Donald Trump (R) reaches to his Vice President elect Mike Pence during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have made proposals to gut the funding for the US’s pioneering HIV/AIDS prevention measures. The bulk of the cuts are proposed to the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was set up by former President George W Bush to tackle the AIDS crisis, and is one of the largest providers of funding for global projects battling the spread of HIV/AIDS. According to the White House documents the cuts are aimed to maintain current commitments” and that the savings will come from ending “less effective HIV research and prevention activities”, although the activists strongly disagree it. The budget document claims: “This reduction would achieve savings by requiring PEPFAR to begin slowing the rate of new patients on treatment in FY 17, by reducing support to low-performing countries, by reducing lower-priority prevention programs, or by identifying new efficiencies or other savings.” Further cuts of $50 million are also set out in the document for the domestic HIV/AIDS budget, with an equal $50 million cut from the CDC’s Global HIV/AIDS program, despite previous assurances that HIV/AIDS budgets would be protected. The document claims: “This reduction would eliminate less effective HIV research and prevention activities and accelerate reductions proposed in FY 2018.”

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