The Budget Control Act of 2011 charges Congress with reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, established under the Act, failed to propose a plan to reduce the deficit by an agreed upon deadline, resulting in an enforcement mechanism of automatic budget cuts in both defense and non- defense spending. The enforcement mechanism is termed “sequestration” and is currently U.S. law. If the law remains unchanged, automatic cuts applied to non-defense discretionary appropriations on January 2, 2013, will impact critical HIV/AIDS programs such as research, prevention, treatment, care, and housing. Cuts will continue each fiscal year until 2021.
This issue brief examines the potential human impact of budget sequestration on the response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic including research, prevention, housing, and treatment programs. The brief also provides an analysis of how HIV-positive minority populations in the U.S. will be harmed by sequestration.