FAIR CEO to Congress: One-Third of a $Trillion?? Is it Time to Cut HIV/AIDS Funding?

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The FAIR Foundation’s CEO, Dr. Richard Darling, is calling on Congress to examine if the President’s 2012 HIV/AIDS budget request of $28 billion should be included in Congress’s basket of cuts that will be required as our legislators work toward reducing federal spending. Darling points out that US taxpayers have spent well over one third of a trillion—yes, trillion—dollars on HIV/AIDS with stunning success resulting in its plummeting death rate, including a 99 percent decline in California’s newly infected HIV patients.

Over 1/3rd $trillion dollars spent on HIV/AIDS

Dr. Richard Darling, President & CEO of the FAIR Foundation, is asking Congress to examine if HIV/AIDS funding should be included in our legislators’ basket of cuts that will be required as they work towards reducing federal spending. He is also asking if some of those funds should now be redirected to other illnesses.

Darling states, “We taxpayers have spent well over one third of a trillion dollars on HIV/AIDS nationally, including over $3,000 per HIV/AIDS patient on bio-medical research versus less than $200 per patient for virtually all other illnesses, including 6,000 orphan (rare) illnesses and diabetes, which kills more Americans than AIDS and breast cancer combined. But that’s not the whole story:

"Billions more are spent annually on HIV/AIDS by others, including the 50 states, pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Elton John’s AIDS Foundation and amfAR.”

Darling points out that the Department of Health and Human Services has one HOPWA program that has spent billions providing housing to patients. He asks, “Do you think HOPWA stands for ‘Housing Opportunities for Patients with Alzheimer’s’? No, the lucky beneficiaries of this federal program are AIDS patients.”

How successful has all this funding been? The plummeting HIV/AIDS death rate nationwide is exemplified by the 99 percent decrease in California’s newly infected HIV patients from almost 10,000 deaths in 1994 to less than 200 now.

Darling states, “Amazingly, Anthony Fauci, MD, the government's top HIV/AIDS researcher and the man who oversees the $3 billion HIV/AIDS bio-medical research budget, validates those who believe HIV funding should be decreased. Fauci admitted publicly years ago that his success is 'breathtaking' with HIV patients who “look and feel well, who are leading very productive, very gratifying lives.”

Darling continues, “Even HIV activist Elton John publicly stated on the TV show American Idol that HIV ‘is not a life-threatening disease anymore’ and rock star Bono, while asking for more money for HIV/AIDS in TV ads, states that HIV patients need to take just two pills a day to stay alive; two pills that cost only 40 cents. John also exhorted HIV patients to use the simple solution to preventing HIV infection, inexpensive condoms.”

Is it time to add the HIV/AIDS industry to those in need of drastic cutbacks by our Congresspersons during these tough budgetary times with some of HIV's overflowing treasure chest, including President Obama’s 2012 budget request for HIV/AIDS of $28 billion, going towards helping patients and research for illnesses other than HIV?

Dr. Richard Darling is the Founder, President & CEO of the FAIR Foundation whose missions are equitable funding for bio-medical research, new organ-donor policies to reverse America’s organ-donor crisis, promotion of organ donation and preventive health education to reduce the need for donor organs. FAIR’s Board of Directors includes 29 transplant surgeons, medical directors and patient advocates.

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