vt legislature considers big cuts to state’s hiv programs

At Vermont CARES, we’re very concerned with large threatened cuts to HIV programs as proposed by the Governor for the next state financial year.  Starting in July, the Department of Health is requesting a cut of 57% to Vermont’s commitment to HIV care, prevention, and medication.  This is a tremendous blow to programs serving those most in need, and these cuts are well out of line with reductions in other state programs. 

The impact of these cuts would be statewide, and would affect the whole spectrum of HIV efforts, from reducing new infections through syringe exchange programs to caring for people living with HIV and providing life-saving medications.  These changes are severe and unconscionable, and of course we are advocating hard in the statehouse to prevent the full proposal from being passed. 

Around the nation, HIV efforts are seeing reductions, and we know that Vermont is not immune to this trend.  We are working with our allies around the state to promote alternatives – such as smaller cuts and deferred commitments of medication funding – to minimize the harm to people with HIV/AIDS.  This is where we need your help! 

In the next two weeks, we will be posting on our website form emails for you to contact your local lawmakers in the coming weeks – we’ll urge you to join us in reminding the legislature that our neighbors with HIV still need strong support. 

This coming week, we’ll be collecting details from the Department of Health to really gauge how far-reaching these cuts could be.  Stay tuned, and please visit our site for updates and action steps!  Thank you for your support in all the ways you offer it, and for keeping this fragile network of support for HIV strong.  In the meantime, you can call our Burlington office to learn more, keep up to date, and learn how to help: 800/649-2437.

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