In the ongoing fight for equity and justice, it is crucial to recognize that budget cuts for vital HIV/AIDS services proposed in Congress, will have a deeply disproportionate impact on Black communities in the United States. These cuts not only exacerbate existing disparities, but also perpetuate systemic injustices. United We Rise, a Black-led collaborative dedicated to dismantling anti-Blackness and ensuring HIV equity, is calling upon every individual to stand against these harmful budget cuts that threaten the health and well-being of Black people, particularly those living with HIV.
Among the most concerning budget cuts are those directly related to HIV research and support services. The proposed $3.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a key funder of HIV research, sends a clear message that the pursuit of better treatments and ultimately a cure is being devalued. Additionally, the proposed reductions include:
These cuts threaten to hinder the critical medical and supportive services that are life-saving for so many Black individuals vulnerable to or living with HIV.
Another deeply troubling aspect of these proposed cuts is the targeted $32 million reduction to the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative, a program that has historically advocated for and served communities of color, including Black individuals. This initiative recognizes the need to address systemic under-resourcing and lack of capacity within communities of color, in order to effectively prevent and manage HIV. Cutting this initiative not only ignores this history but also disregards the urgent need for resources and support in these communities.
The fight against HIV and for the health and liberation of #EveryBlackBody is far from over. Our journey towards Black liberation cannot exclude the struggle against HIV or the fight against budget cuts that deepen inequities. Here’s how you can take a stand to #StopHIVCuts:
Contact Your Congressperson: Write, call, or meet with your Congressperson to express your concerns about the budget cuts and their impact on Black communities.You can also contact your local city council, state representative, or Mayor to inform them about these cuts and ask them to contact your congressional delegation.
Sign on to the Southern AIDS Coalition letter: Join SAC in voicing concerns about the impact of the budget cuts on southern states, primarily impacting Black communities. This sign-on letter will be sent to the Senate subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Other Agencies to urge them to reject the cuts to vital HIV funding in the House appropriations bill.
Raise Your Voice on Social Media: Post a statement on your social media platforms using #EveryBlackBody #StopHIVCuts #NoMoreDefunding to spread awareness and encourage others to join the cause.
Engage in Advocacy for Black Liberation: Support organizations and initiatives that work tirelessly to protect the rights and health of Black individuals, and actively engage in advocacy efforts to ensure equitable and just funding and resources.