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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 18, 2000



     President's Budget Includes Largest Ever Increase for Prevention
                             January 18, 2000

Today, the White House announced that the President's FY 2001 budget will include a major increase in funding for programs that treat HIV and AIDS and prevent the spread of the disease. The President has proposed an additional $50 million, the largest increase ever in funding for HIV activities to encourage individuals at risk to avoid behaviors that can result in the transmission of the disease. In addition, the budget will invest an additional $125 million in the Ryan White Program, an increase of almost 8 percent over last year's funding level, to provide primary medical care, pharmaceuticals critical to treatment, and other critical support services for people living with HIV and AIDS.

ALTHOUGH MUCH PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE, HIV REMAINS A SERIOUS PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM NATIONWIDE. In 1996, for the first time in the history of the AIDS epidemic, the number of Americans diagnosed with AIDS declined. Between 1996 and 1997, HIV/AIDS mortality declined 42 percent, falling from the leading cause of death among 25 to 44 year olds in 1995 to the fifth leading cause of death in that age group. There has also been a decline in the number of AIDS cases overall and a sharp decline in new AIDS cases in infants and children. However, more needs to be done.

CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MAJOR NEW INVESTMENT IN HIV AND AIDS PREVENTION AND TREATMENT. Today, the Clinton-Gore Administration will announce a new initiative to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS nationwide and provide critical treatment and social support services to those already infected.

     Educate thousands of Americans about the importance of learning their
     HIV status.  Of the up to 900,000 people believed to be living with
     HIV in the United States, up to a third do not know that they are
     infected.  These are individuals who are most likely to continue the
     behaviors that resulted in their own infection and will likely result
     in the infection of others. The initiative that the President is
     announcing today will continue the CDC's "Know Your Status" campaign;
     launch highly focused outreach campaigns targeted to individuals at
     high risk, including minorities, women, and young gay and bisexual
     men; and expand current systems of voluntary counseling, testing, and
     partner notification services.

     Reach out to populations with the greatest risk of infection.  Because
     each state has an AIDS epidemic that is unique in its impact and
     breadth, local programs are the most likely to reach at-risk persons
     in an effective manner.  New funds will be given to state and local
     public health agencies to expand community prevention planning, with a
     special emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, women, injection
     drug users and their partners, and young gay and bisexual men.

THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION?S LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO PREVENTING AND TREATING HIV AND AIDS. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to invigorate the response to HIV and AIDS, providing new national leadership, substantially greater resources and a closer working relationship with affected communities. During their Administration, funding for AIDS research has increased by 87 percent at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), while funding for HIV prevention has increased 47 percent. Funding for the Ryan White CARE Act has increased by over 338 percent.