Potential sequester impact on HIV resources - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Potential sequester impact on HIV resources

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A statewide AIDS resource center says it's concerned about the sequester's impact on prevention services, treatment and research.

HIV/AIDS cases remain on the rise in the state. The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin says across-the-board federal budget cuts could put important resources in jeopardy. "One of the big things we're really concerned about with the sequester is that we know that it's going to cut about $100,000 in HIV prevention funds in Wisconsin," the Center's Vice President of Government and Public Relations Bill Keeton says.

Keeton says prevention and testing are two of the most important parts of addressing the epidemic. Since 1983, 8,889 cases have been reported in the state. "With more people living with HIV, more and more people living longer with HIV, there's continually an increase in demand for services," says Keeton.

Federal programs that help low-income patients manage HIV are facing sequester cuts, he says. It's caused concern among some of the hundreds treated at the organization. "There are a lot of people who are facing a lot of uncertainty," Keeton says.

While the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin is bracing for any changes, state officials say details aren't available. A statement from the Wisconsin Department of Administration says:

"States have not been given information regarding specific cuts and how they relate to each agency. Ultimately, we won't know the details until there is additional federal action, and we will continue the monitor the situation closely."

Keeton says research is also a concern with the National Institutes of Health facing cuts. Research grants are responsible for developing programs that have saved lives.

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