An opinion piece from John-Manuel Andriote of The Huffington Post.
Dear Mr. President, Please Stop Wasting HIV Prevention Funding and Start Saving Our Lives
Thirty-two years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the federal government continues to squander public prevention dollars by targeting exactly the wrong Americans.
Speaking at a meeting at Boston’s Fenway Health, the world’s largest LGBT health care and research organization, Gregorio Millett, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) senior scientist and liaison to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), said on Oct. 29 that gay and bisexual men (or MSM, “men who have sex with men,” as CDC generically labels us) account for 63 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S..
Yet a 2012 Fenway Institute analysis found that in a 2009 Wisconsin case study, although male-to-male sex accounted for 58 percent of new HIV diagnoses among blacks, only 19 percent of prevention efforts targeted black gay/bisexual men, and black gay/bisexual men accounted for only 11 percent of prevention clients.
The Fenway Institute also reported that a CDC analysis found that only 27 percent of HIV education and risk reduction funding was targeted toward MSM, while 38 percent was targeted toward high-risk heterosexuals and 20 percent was targeted toward other groups. In addition, only 16 percent of National Institutes of Health funding for HIV targeted to a specific risk group was allotted to MSM, according to a 2011 report by ONAP.
In a March 30, 2012, interview with The Georgia Voice, Dr. Kevin Fenton, then the director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), said that funding for prevention and research with gay men was “about half of what it should be.”
“Our own stigma, our own homophobia, cascades down in our funding and allocations, intentionally or unintentionally resulting in underfunding of gay men’s work across the country,” said Fenton.
You can read the rest of the piece here.