The State Department is seeking substantial budget increases to fight the global AIDS epidemic and to counter terrorism in fiscal 2004, officials say. The battle against AIDS, which claimed 3.1 million lives around the world in 2002, is a key component in the department's request to the White House budget office for the fiscal year that begins October 1. Secretary of State Colin Powell has made international AIDS efforts one of his top budgetary priorities. "The positions we hold in our governments give our voices resonance at home and abroad," he told a group of foreign ambassadors last month. "We can and must use our voices to convince others of the urgency and gravity of this global problem." President Bush is to submit his budget for fiscal 2004 to Congress early next month.