AIDS Prevention

Views on the Administration's Budget Proposals Gao ID: HRD-87-126BR August 12, 1987

In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the level of fiscal year (FY) 1988 funding needed to limit the spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), focusing on the: (1) adequacy of the proposed Public Health Service (PHS) budget for AIDS; and (2) appropriateness of priorities reflected in the administration's proposed budget for AIDS prevention.

GAO noted that the proposed PHS budget includes: (1) $70 million for services for intravenous drug users; (2) $155 million for education targeted at specific risk groups; and (3) $92 million for testing and counseling services. GAO found that the experts it interviewed: (1) generally concurred with the priorities reflected in the administration's AIDS prevention budget for FY 1988; (2) believed that the proposed funding levels for prevention activities were not adequate; and (3) believes that more education must be directed at population groups with low rates of infection, so they remain uninfected. GAO reported that the experts recommended budget increases of: (1) $65 to $215 million for massive educational campaigns targeted at high-risk groups and minorities, as well as at the general population; (2) $50 to $150 million for drug treatment, primarily methadone maintenance to reduce heroin injection; and (3) $250 million for expanded capacity at voluntary testing and counseling centers. In addition, the experts suggested that the federal government: (1) begin a full-scale, coordinated campaign against AIDS; and (2) earmark funds for evaluation of educational efforts to ensure that future dollars can be applied to the most effective prevention programs.

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