US Congress rejects Trump’s proposed cuts to research budget for 2018
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
As the largest single funder of HIV research, the proposed cuts to the US research budget threatened to undermine recent advances in global health, especially in relation to HIV/AIDS.
It is therefore reassuring that a recent press statement from the US-based Treatment Action Group (TAG) outlined that the US congress would continue to support the research agenda for the 2018 financial year.
This was in contrast to an anti-science agenda with budget cuts that was threatened from the US president Donald Trump.
Instead, Congress approved a budget that increased the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget by $3.0 billion, rejecting the proposed $5.8 billion cut for 2018 that would have halted many ongoing programmes. This included a $353 million increase the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that leads the country’s largest HIV research programme.
However, the Ryan White programme which affects treatment and care for more than half of all people living with HIV in the United States was flat-funded.
Although the CDC hepatitis programme received a small additional $5 million, this increase is still far short of the $100 million in funding needed to expand viral hepatitis screening and surveillance efforts.
The Division of TB Elimination at CDC (DTBE ) was also flat-funded at $142.2 million for yet another year. Despite its continued success, DTBE has not seen a significant increase since 1994.
TAG press release. TAG statement on final appropriations for fiscal year 2018. (23 March 2018)