Storyboard: Obama’s 2012 budget and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

On this edition of Storyboard I speak with David Ernesto Munar, President/CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and President Obama’s proposed budget for 2012.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Brad Ogilvie says:

    It is hard for me to get as alarmed as David pushes here, given that I have seen from the inside and the outside, working in the field and as a client, AIDS services becoming an entrenched bureaucracy. There really have been no innovative strategies despite significant advances in treatment, testing and communications, and much of this has been because the silos of AIDS have remained pretty stagnant. I also met with Sen. Durbin in 2003 and proposed that Illinois be the first state in the country where everyone knows his/her HIV-status. His response then was “We can’t afford to do that”; from that day on, what we are seeing now was only a matter of time, but unfortunately, many AIDS service organizations continued to play “spend it or lose it”. I also chaired a costly housing needs assessment, only to watch the outcomes be brushed aside because they did not reflect what had been planned. David’s neglect of any of the internal/systemic problems (such as in suburbs of Chicago, people are being turned away from HIV-testing, not because of fiscal problems so much as policy) continue to reflect a “turf” mentality about HIV/AIDS that is informed about the failures of politicians and government, but doesn’t do the hard internal work. Consider: in 2000, the national goal was to decrease new transmissions by 50% (from 40,000 to 20,000) by 2005; in 2010 the goal is to decrease new transmissions by 25% (from 56,000 to 41,000) by 2015. It’s been a lost decade, much of it, I think, falls squarely on an entrenched system. So, while I think more funding might be in order, I think we need to do a little house cleaning on internal policies, wasteful studies, and come up with new ideas.

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