amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR Analysis: Proposed Congressional Budget Cuts Will Severely Undercut U.S. Response to Domestic and Global AIDS Crisis

Budget proposal announced by House Republican leaders will lead to substantial cuts in global and domestic AIDS prevention, treatment, and research funding


For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager
(212) 806-1602

NEW YORK (November 9, 2010)—In an exclusive report on the budget cuts proposed by the new Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Monday showed how a return to FY2008 budget levels—the crux of the Republican proposal—will drastically limit HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and research spending, affecting millions of people in the U.S. and around the world.

In the Republican plan, announced in September by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and outlined in the House Republicans’ “Pledge to America,” Congress proposed to reduce non-security-related government spending for FY2011 to FY2008 levels—a decrease from $1.128 trillion for discretionary spending to $1.029 trillion. The proposed cuts will exempt all security programs and will leave $378 billion for all non-security-related discretionary programs, representing a 21.7% cut in President Obama’s FY2011 request.

“It is critical to understand the full implications of what the Republican leadership is proposing if we were return to previous funding levels, which are simply inadequate to deal with today’s epidemic,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “People need to understand how these cuts will risk the lives of the people living with HIV and AIDS around the world.”

The proposed cuts will have drastic, immediate consequences and will represent a 9.6% reduction in overall discretionary HIV/AIDS spending. Additionally, domestic cuts would likely seriously undermine the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement the recently developed National HIV/AIDS Strategy—the first comprehensive domestic strategy designed to directly address the U.S. epidemic.

“Funding cuts of this magnitude threaten to decimate our efforts to prevent HIV infection in our country, and could lead to a surge in the number of people denied access to lifesaving AIDS treatment around the world,” said Chris Collins, amfAR’s vice president and director of public policy. “We are now in a position to change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic, both at home and globally. This is the time to invest in, not shortchange, proven lifesaving programs.”


  • Domestic HIV/AIDS discretionary spending will be cut by 6.5% (from $7.58 billion to $7.09 billion)
  • Prevention: reverting to FY2008 spending levels for HIV prevention at the CDC will reduce funding from $799 million to $732 million—an 8.3% cut
  • Treatment: more than 4,300 people will need to be removed from the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) program—adding to the more than 4,000 people already waiting to be enrolled—putting their access to lifesaving treatment in jeopardy
  • Research: the proposed cuts will slash AIDS research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 8%, from $3.18 billion to $2.93 billion, forcing the NIH to make serious reductions in current research efforts while also curbing new ones


  • Global HIV/AIDS discretionary programs will be cut by 13.1% (from $6.74 billion to $5.86 billion)
  • Treatment: despite the success of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), more than 9 million people in low- and middle-income countries need HIV/AIDS treatment but do not have access to it; a return to FY2008 funding levels will reduce bilateral HIV/AIDS investments by 12.4%, from $5.74 billion to $5.03 billion and could result in a need to remove people who are already receiving treatment
  • Pediatric and orphan services: as of September 2009, 3.6 million vulnerable children were receiving HIV-related care and support; a return to FY2008 funding will require serious cutbacks in services to children

View the full report, “Rolling Back Funding to FY2008 Levels: Impact on the Domestic and Global AIDS Epidemic.” (PDF) 

About amfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.