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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is gravely disheartened to learn about the Trump Administration’s plans to redirect $266 million earmarked for social services pay for the detention of children separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. The funding includes $9.5 million for HIV programs.
While the Trump administration has the authority to transfer funds among programs, we strongly oppose any diversion of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and HIV prevention funds for purposes not related to caring for the 1.2 million people living with HIV in this country, or preventing new cases of HIV. We are especially opposed to using funds intended to support health goals for people to cover the cost of a cruel and inhumane policy like the child separation border policy.
It is our understanding that the list of planned transfers below are all from the current fiscal year (FY 18) and are from unobligated or unspent funds.
Other accounts being raided include the National Cancer Institute, Head Start, runaway and homeless youth programs, funds for violent crime reduction in women’s shelters, maternal and child health block grants, and more.
AFC insists that any unspent Ryan White or HIV prevention funding is redirected towards HIV programs and services. We strongly condemn the use of HIV funding — unspent or otherwise — to support the Trump Administration’s xenophobic practice of child separation that has resulted in trauma to immigrant children and families. At a time when more funding is needed to end the HIV epidemic, it is unwise to divert funding to this inhumane program. AFC will continue to work with our partners to monitor and oppose this policy. In the meantime, join us in expressing your outrage of this inhumane policy by taking action using this action alert sponsored by AIDS United.