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Schwarzenegger Eliminates HIV Prevention and Treatment

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Aired 7/29/09

Advocates for HIV treatment and prevention say Governor Schwarzenegger has effectively dismantled California's efforts to battle the disease. When he signed the new budget, the governor used his line-item veto power to cut an additional $52 million from HIV/AIDS programs.

— Advocates for HIV treatment and prevention say Governor Schwarzenegger has effectively dismantled California's efforts to battle the disease. When he signed the new budget, the governor used his line-item veto power to cut an additional $52 million from HIV/AIDS programs.

The new budget eliminates state spending on HIV/AIDS prevention, education and testing. It severely cuts a program that provides home and community-based care.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation's largest non-profit care provider to people living with the disease, says the governor's move is underhanded.

"It's a heartless act which will set the clock back on AIDS prevention, care and treatment back to where it was 25 years ago," Weinstein says.

Officials say the state will still provide HIV drugs for people who can't afford them. But Weinstein says California is abandoning the fight to stop the spread of the disease.

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