White House Floats Massive Cuts To HIV/AIDS Programs

Bloomberg reports:

President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed cutting $1.23 billion this fiscal year from research funded by the National Institutes of Health, according to a White House document sent to congressional appropriators.

The reduction is part of $18 billion in cuts that the administration wants in fiscal 2017, which ends in October. Most of the proposed reductions at NIH would come from research grants, with $50 million specifically taken from a program meant to support biomedical research in states that typically get less agency money.

A worldwide initiative to help people with HIV and AIDS, known as PEPFAR and heavily focused on patient treatment in Africa, would be slashed by almost $300 million under the plan. The savings would be found by slowing the rate of new patients put on treatment and reducing support to “low-performing countries.” States also would face a $50 million cut that would target “less effective HIV research and prevention activities.”

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday to talk about the budget proposal for his department, which NIH and and some of the PEPFAR cuts fall under.