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The governor’s recent cuts of $82 million to HIV prevention, care, and treatment have taken us back to the dark days of the AIDS epidemic. Now more than ever, we must fight back!

Please join this candlelight vigil in solidarity and to mourn the loss of vital services for persons living with HIV/AIDS throughout California.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Gather at Pershing Square by 7:00 pm
March to the Reagan State Building to follow

Please bring candles and wear a red shirt. There is self-pay parking under Pershing Square and in surrounding parking lots. The site is also right above the  Metro Red Line’s Pershing Square Stop.

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Today’s issue of the Los Angeles Times has a story about the May 27th public hearing in Sacramento where hundreds testified against the drastic cuts to state programs. One such individual was Lynnea Garbutt, a young woman living with HIV.

“If these cuts take place, you’re not just cutting money from the program — you’re cutting my life,” she told the panel, her voice shaking and tears falling. “I choose to live. Please don’t make me die. My choice is life.”

To read more, click here: http://bit.ly/2iK4Z8.

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Michelle Roland, the Chief of California’s Office of AIDS, provided some new information late this afternoon on the Governor’s proposal to cut HIV programs.

As of the publication in the Sacramento Bee this afternoon, this is our understanding of the current budget proposal relative to OA. Please be aware that things can still change. We will do our best to keep you informed.

May Revise Contingency Proposal:                       $24.6 million Education and Prevention +

New Proposal:                                                             $55.5 million other OA programs ($43 million)

+ some ADAP per LAO recommendations ($12.3 million)

Total = 80.1 million reduction

What this boils down to is the elimination of all general funding that California provides to almost all of its HIV programs. California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) looks like it will receive a $12 million cut– a devastating blow to the 35,000 Californians living with HIV/AIDS.

During a conference call with community advocates on Tuesday afternoon, Michelle Roland said, “Things are evolving very quickly. This will affect anybody who has any prevention, care, or treatment funded by this money. The reality is it will also impact the office’s ability to support various things we do. We are definitely losing staff along with money that goes to support these programs.”

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We are staging a rally on the steps of the State Capitol on Wednesday, June 10th, to protest Governor’s Schwarzenegger’s cuts to HIV programs. More details as we get them!

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