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Money for HIV/AIDS on the home front.

CBC gets twice as much funding for health initiative

The diligent efforts of the Congressional Black Caucus and other organizations led the 106th Congress to not only pass the CBC Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative (CBC/ MHAI) in December, but also to increase the amount appropriated for it by $105 million.

Of the estimated 40,000 new HIV infections each year, greater than 50% occur among African Americans. Because of these alarming statistics found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CBC/MHAI was developed to target funds to reduce HIV/AIDS in black communities.

The African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute (AAAPTI), an educational organization whose mission is to reduce new HIV infections in African American communities, and other groups recently compiled a list of 11 recommendations for President Bush, which included urging him to provide full support to the CBC/MHAI mission.

Phill Wilson, executive director of the AAAPTI, explains that "if African Americans represent the majority of AIDS cases, then the majority of the resources must be aimed at African Americans."

The $350 million fueling the organizations this year is more than twice the $158 million the CBC/MHAI was granted in 1999, when the initiative began.

Though the president cannot change the current appropriations for the committees this year, Brian Modeste, legislative director at the CBC Health Braintrust, says, "We expect some concerns with funding for upcoming fiscal years."

This year's funding will be distributed to the following agencies: Health Resources and Services Administration; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Office of the Secretary/Office of Minority Health; and the Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund.

Help for the AIDS abroad

Entertainer Bill Cosby and former U.S. Secretary of Health Dr. Louis Sullivan helped to raise more than $700,000 for Medical Education for South African Blacks (MESAB) at the organization's 11th annual awards dinner, held in New York. MESAB is the largest single source of funds used to educate doctors who train and practice in AIDS-ravaged South Africa.

According to the AAAPTI, more than 70% of those living with AIDS globally are on the continent of Africa.
Estimated persons living with AIDS, by race/etnicity
1993 through 1999, United States

 1993 1995 1997 1999

White, not Hispanic 80,480 91,756 107,273 122,880
Black not Hispanic 60,678 81,287 105,306 129,943
Hispanic 31,245 41,072 52,121 62,995
Asian/Pacific Islander 1,295 1,617 2,094 2,609

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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Article Details
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Author:Boyce, Chrystal
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2001
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