President Donald Trump's Oct. 26 declaration that the opioid crisis is a federal health emergency, without allocating additional dollars to address the issue, may ultimately result in a cut to spending on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatments, some experts fear.
Without allocating new funds towards addressing opioids issues, the government could only combat the problem through reallocating parts of existing funding streams. Trump's largely symbolic declaration allows federal dollars directed for spending on HIV/AIDS to be redirected for combatting opioid abuse.
While there is some overlap in persons who are affected by each issue, advocates and service providers say that opioid abuse and HIV/AIDS can only effectively both be addressed with discrete revenue streams.
Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, senior director of policy and strategy at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation told San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 26 that "the response needs to come with increased funding. So we're very concerned about proposals that would redirect funding that's vital for HIV care and treatment to other areas."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 64,000 persons died from overdoses in 2016.
The San Francisco Chronicle's article is at bit.ly/2zJHd2p .