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Schwarzengger's Cut of $85 Million to AIDS Programs Will Hurt

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Photo by Avoir Chaud via Flickr
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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's line item cuts to the state budget on Tuesday drastically reduced many programs, including state parks and domestic violence funding. AIDS/HIV programs were also hit particularly bad to the tune of around $85 million, leaving the California’s Office of AIDS with only 20 percent of its funding for programs like HIV education and prevention, HIV counseling and testing, home health and early intervention.

"When making these difficult reductions to important program services, I have sought to protect the continued delivery of drug therapies to low-income individuals living with HIV and thus retained funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program," explained Schwarzengger briefly in his budget book (.pdf).

"Los Angeles County has the second largest AIDS epidemic in the country," said AIDS Project Los Angeles Executive Director Craig E. Thompson on Tuesday in a statement. "California was, until today, a model for other states nationwide in HIV/AIDS care and treatment."