Massachusetts funds for AIDS and cancer on chopping block
State funds supporting HIV screening and services, breast cancer research, school nurses, teen pregnancy prevention, and efforts to reduce medical errors are all earmarked to be cut in the Massachusetts budget proposal announced Thursday by Gov. Mitt Romney. An additional $3 million is recommended to be cut from state-backed AIDS programs on top of the $12 million already slashed from AIDS services in the current budget. If approved, the total cuts will amount to a 30% reduction in AIDS funding in 2003. Mary Ann Hart of Project ABLE (AIDS Budget Legislative Effort) said the massive cuts will result in the reduction or elimination of "hard-core" services, like nutrition programs and home-care visits. The budget cuts also would reduce the number of HIV antibody tests administered in the state, activists said.