On Wednesday, I alerted you to Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to eliminate the State’s HIV prevention and education funding.
This morning, the news is far bleaker. The Governor has released a plan to end HIV/AIDS treatment for nearly 35,000 Californians, our neighbors who rely on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program for life-saving medication, eradicating years of progress against HIV and putting lives at risk.
The plan goes on to remove State support for HIV testing, AIDS education in schools, rural HIV prevention programs, and funds that provide housing to people living with AIDS. The budget will slash health insurance for low-income families, devastate family planning, and terminate in-home supportive services for the elderly and disabled.
In this climate, we cannot be silent.
The budget is woefully short-sighted, robbing the State of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal support. If California fails to deliver on its commitments, Washington, D.C. will deny our matching funds, jeopardizing virtually every federal benefit that supports the health of people living with HIV and irrevocably altering our capacity to prevent new infections.
This budget will have an unimaginable effect on the health of hundreds and thousands of Californians.
There is no time to waste. I urge you to contact the Governor and your State Senator and Assembly member who are making these painful decisions now. Everyone at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation—our clients, volunteers and staff—is grateful that you are speaking out in this crisis.
With profound thanks,
San Francisco AIDS Foundation