Skip to comments.AIDS Funding: 'An Epidemic of Waste?'($1 billion in Fed $$$ Wasted)
Posted on 02/15/2002 1:30:26 AM PST by kattracks
Washington (CNSNews.com) - AIDS activists will converge on Washington Friday, demanding more tax dollars for various prevention and treatment programs, but one government watchdog group says about $1 billion in federal AIDS money has already been wasted.
What's needed is wiser spending of AIDS-related money, not an increase in spending, according to the group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).
CAGW Thursday released its special report, "AIDS Programs: An Epidemic Of Waste," which systematically shows how federal funds meant for AIDS programs have allegedly been misallocated, mismanaged and wasted.
"Overall, we found about $1 billion, about 7.7 percent of the $13 billion in total federal AIDS funding, that is being mismanaged and wasted," Thomas A. Schatz, president of CAGW, said. "We believe that it would be more compassionate to take the money that is being wasted and provide it to the people who truly need it."
The CAGW report offers a detailed look at the history of AIDS in the United States, but it is the scathing assessment of the taxpayer-funded AIDS programs that stands out.
Included in the report are several examples of the misuse of federal funds. For example, Positive Force, a San Francisco AIDS prevention group, receives $1 million annually from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
According to CAGW, Positive Force offers flirting classes and, last July, hosted a workshop on how to have anal intercourse even while suffering from diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common side effect of the AIDS virus, according to the report.
On February 28, the Stop AIDS Project of San Francisco, which received nearly $700,000 from the CDC, will host "GUYWATCH: Blow by Blow," the CAGW report stated. The advertisement for the seminar reads, "What tricks do you want to share to make your man tremble with delight?"
Another alleged misuse of federal funding in the fight to stop AIDS occurred in Tampa Bay, Fla., where the non-profit Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan (THAP) "rang up nearly $1,000 in meal charges in a three-week period and were also afforded the use of sport utility vehicles," the CAGW said.
THAP's top executives also received four season tickets for Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning professional sporting events, according to the report, at a time when "THAP owed nearly $25,000 in delinquent payroll taxes." THAP receives $450,000 a year from the federal government to provide housing to people with AIDS, the CAGW report shows.
Aids activist Wayne Turner, the co-founder of ACTUP DC! joined Schatz at Thursday's news conference and agreed it's necessary to stop the abuse of federal funds earmarked for AIDS programs.
"As an AIDS activist, someone who has lost a partner to AIDS, I can say that it is so important that people living with and dying from this disease have access to the services necessary to keep them alive," Turner said.
"We've been on the forefront of fighting for more money for AIDS and fighting for these programs and demanding passionate and humane treatment for those who suffer from this disease," Turner said. "But, there is another part of that coin when you ask for more money, which has been poorly addressed in the twenty years of the AIDS epidemic."
Turner said it was important to make sure the money was efficiently used.
"This is a federal problem. There is a federal responsibility to insure that AIDS money is spent appropriately and helps people," Turner said.
Turner brought along a tote bag, from which he pulled a water bottle, key chain and other trinkets that he said were paid for with AIDS funding. He called on AIDS programs to quit wasting money on such items and to start helping people.
"There are real people who are falling through the cracks in the system," Turner said.
E-mail a news tip to Matt Pyeatt.
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This is an example of abuse and rightly condemned and ought to be officially investigated.
However, the first two allegations may or may not be 'abuse' as they are simply suggestions of scandal wherein the "conservative" audience will not ask for specific evidence, only recoil at gross suggestions. Is there any evidence a dime of taxpayer funds went to teach workshops on having anal sex while suffering diarrhea? And, frankly, with regards to the other "Positive Choice" allegation, many homosexuals could use *more* flirting (more old time heterosexual courting rituals) and less anonymous sex to prevent HIV transmission.
Again, I demand to know the specifics and where the money is going. We're being asked to assume taxpayers are paying for "Blow by Blow" seminars when the article does not establish whether these organizations have or use other monies to fund these programs.
Excluding the ending and Tampa Bay specifics, this is really just another divisive "conservative" anti-homosexual hit piece--a political trap--heavy on innuendo and light on facts.
Conservatives need to work harder to not bite at what, for some of them, are "hot-buttons" but which lack substance. They need to devote energy where the facts are shown. This sort of "reporting" is pathetic, even for choir-feeding propoganda.
Are those things in the Constitution? Seems to me you're using the "Constitutionalty" question as a smokescreen for your hatred of AIDS due to its link to homosexuals and/or IV drug users.
I agree federal dollars could be better spent on scientific research, including providing full funding to thoroughly screen the blood supply, than on "prevention" programs.
And, as a reminder that AIDS isn't strickly "voluntary", just this month we had a story of a Texan who contracted HIV through tainted blood needed during a surgery emergency last year. Yours is the sort of thinking which could potentially eliminate important areas of CDC investigation as well as publically funding for private viral research.
When I read the comments of some Freepers on this topic sometimes I think "conservative" really means what liberals contend: money whoring, science and public good ignoring bigot attempting to hide behind a cloke of piousness and false righteousness. It's no wonder W has had to attempt to redefine the image by adding on "compassionate" to the label.
Speaking of the history of AIDS...
I wish someone would investigate the "officials" who decided against mandatory notification of sexual partners of AIDS patients. This procedure was carried out after the diagnosis other sexually-transmitted diseases.
Many lives could have been saved if sexual partners had been notified.
The big players in society are cocaine users, no? High divorce rates, unless the spouse is willing to put up with the adultry in exchange for the luxury... Cocaine increases the potentials of AIDS so quickly it's mind boggling. That was learned through a study.
No it isn't. You made your beds, now you sleep in them. Start a charity.
"There are real people who are falling through the cracks
It depends on the meaning of the word "cracks."
"As an AIDS activist, someone who has lost a partner to AIDS, I can say that it is so important that people living with and dying from this disease have access to the services necessary to keep them alive,"
Like STOP being queer classes.
I'd prefer to pay nothing to these people. They knew the risks. Nobody made them do it.
They had funding, and they didn't appreciate it, like the rest of the liberals.
Now tell the taxpayers 'thank you' for what they've done already, and be on your way.
Not after this new campaign finance reform bill. They're SOFT money.
This is really sad, but those who got AIDs from transfusions are probably dead by now, thanks to queers.
Blood is now tested to prevent AIDS transfer.
I'm pretty sure Washington did their own study on this, and said the classes were selling pornography. and endorsing sexual behavior rather than teaching prevention.
I believe they cut off their funding until they go back to AIDs prevention.That's what the money was SUPPOSE to be used for.
They(the queers) said they needed the porn and sex classes to draw the other queers to classes, otherwise no one came.
Maybe there's a thread on it. I probably read the article here.
Here's the full report.
Cocaine is expensive. Why not send the cocain money to an AIDs charity? Cocaine is illegal. It's another life "choice."
As far as "consernatives", we told them it was bad. We had classes to help them. Explained to them that homosexuality spreads AIDs, gave them Bibles. BUT,they didn't want help.
They want MONEY, money, money.
Don't blame that on us. We did our part.
BTW, with the current levels of AIDS screening in donated blood, there are virtually no transfusion related infections. AIDS infection through heterosexual contact constitutes less than 3% of new cases each year. The vast majority of new cases each year come from intravenious drug users and homosexual men, who in fact DON'T BELIEVE THAT HIV CAUSES AIDS. It is BEHAVIOR that spreads AIDS, not lack of government funding.
Yes, it is a tragedy when people get AIDS from accidental exposure or through a cheating spouse, but there are many, many better ways to spend a billion dollars that will help find a cure for diseases with truly innocent victims. Childhood leukemia and cystic fibrosis are just two examples of research that could benefit greatly from a billion dollars in grant money.
Why not spend the money where it will help the MOST innocent victims rather than just the ones who scream loudest?