AIDS groups protest federal research budget cuts
The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition on Tuesday related a statement signed by 16 additional groups protesting a decision by the Office of Management and Budget to redirect funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to purchase anthrax vaccines as part of bioterrorism preparations. The groups say the cuts will reduce the number and duration of grants available to study HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. The letter calls on the OMB to not "cut corners by shifting money from research into diseases that cause untold deaths around the world every day. We call on OMB and the [Bush] administration to immediately restore the cuts made to the NIAID research budget and urge that a more appropriate funding stream such as [the Department of Homeland Security] is utilized for the bulk purchase of anthrax vaccines." Among the groups to sign the letter are AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS Project Los Angeles, AIDS Treatment Data Network, American Foundation for AIDS Research, Gay Men's Health Crisis, and the National Minority AIDS Council.