Magazine article Insight on the News

Waste, Fraud in AIDS Programs

Magazine article Insight on the News

Waste, Fraud in AIDS Programs

Article excerpt

Federal AIDS programs are an "epidemic of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement," according to a watchdog group calling for the redirection of money for some of the programs. "In the early years of AIDS, activists were justified in asking for money for the mysterious epidemic that everyone was afraid of and no one knew how to avoid or treat," states Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) in its report, AIDS Programs: An Epidemic of Waste. "But due to increased knowledge and improved treatment, dire predictions have not come true."

According to CAGW, AIDS ranked 17th among leading causes of death for Americans in 1998, behind heart disease, cancer, emphysema, asthma, pneumonia, influenza, diabetes, suicide, Alzheimer's disease, homicide and hypertension. "Despite this, AIDS receives more funding than any other disease," the report says. "In 1996, [National Institutes of Health] spent 43 times more on AIDS than it did on heart disease [the nation's No. 1 disease killer] and nine times more than it spent on all cancers," which are No. 2.

"Federal AIDS funding, which includes money for research, treatment and housing, totals $13 billion for fiscal 2003," says Tom Schatz, CAGW president. …

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