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AMSA-LIST  December 2003

AMSA-LIST December 2003

Subject:

[AMSA] MAP Advocate - February 20, 2003

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 Your AIDS Advocacy Update                                                
 Vol. 9 No. 4 - February 20, 2003                                         
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 ***Plan to Participate in AIDS Action Day on Monday, February 24. Join   
 us at the Capitol or participate from your desktop.                      
                                                                          
 ***Pawlenty's cuts in public health, local government aid and health     
 care will limit care for people living with HIV and undermine overall    
 HIV and STD prevention efforts.                                          
                                                                          
 ***Conservatives push to block young people's access to care or          
 treatment to prevent STDs, unplanned pregnancies or substance abuse by   
 repealing minors consent.                                                
                                                                          
 Take Action! Participate in AIDS Action Day                              
                                                                          
 Also in this issue:                                                      
                                                                          
 *The Pawlenty Budget: Where We Stand                                     
 *Sustain Our Commitment to Effective Prevention                          
 *Providing Access to Life-supporting Care is at Risk                     
 *Minors' Access to Health Services Threatened                            
 *Experts Advise Coleman About Global Response                            
 *Lawmakers Announce Plans to Introduce Comp Sex Ed Bill                  
 *New Plan Eased Impact of HIV/STD Cuts                                   
 *MAP Testifies on Role of Non-profits in Public Health                   
 *A Closer Look at the "No Tax" Argument [From MAP Advocate 1/10/2003]    
                                                                          
 Take Action! Participate in AIDS Action Day                              
                                                                          
                                                                          
 It's not too late to plan to join us at the State Capitol this coming    
 Monday, February 24 for AIDS Action Day. Attend the State of AIDS        
 meeting from 10 to 11, and then attend meetings with your State Senator  
 and State Rep. Your presence at the Capitol makes a big, big difference. 
 However, you must register to participate by 2 p.m. on Friday. Click us  
 an email to [log in to unmask] or give us a call at      
 612-341-2060 or 800-243-7321.                                            
                                                                          
 Can't come to the Capitol? You can still participate. Give your State    
 Senator and State Representative of phone call. Send them an e-mail.     
 Tell them you are concerned about the impact cuts in public health,      
 local government aid and health care services will have on people living 
 with HIV and our HIV and STD prevention efforts. It's easy to find your  
 legislators, just click here to get find out who represents you in Saint 
 Paul.                                                                    
                                                                          
                                                                          
 The Pawlenty Budget: Where We Stand                                      
                                                                          
                                                                          
 MAP supports the Governor's budget recommendations sustaining current    
 levels of spending for HIV prevention and care. MAP is concerned about   
 the likely impact of reductions in public health and health care         
 coverage and benefits. They diminish overall prevention efforts and      
 limit health services for those we serve. MAP will seek to reinstate     
 funding for HIV workplace education and K-12 HIV/STD Regional Training   
 Sites in Hopkins, Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Park Rapids, and Winona. MAP   
 opposes policies that create barriers to HIV prevention such as          
 limitations on comprehensive sexual health education, restrictions on    
 content that prohibit culturally relevant public health services, and    
 repeal of human rights protections based on sexual orientation.          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Sustain Our Commitment to Effective Prevention                           
                                                                          
 The Pawlenty budget sustains the State's dollar commitment to HIV        
 prevention. That's good because prevention works. A recently published   
 report by the CDC estimates that nationally, 1.5 million new infections  
 have been prevented. Continued investment in community-based prevention  
 ensures culturally relevant and age-appropriate public health education  
 to curtail the growth in infections. Each prevented HIV infection saves  
 annual medical costs equivalent to the purchase of a new car. Each       
 dollar spent on STD prevention saves $12 in future health costs.         
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Providing Access to Life-supporting Care is at Risk                      
                                                                          
 35 percent of Minnesotan's living with HIV benefit from state and        
 federally funded HIV drug reimbursement and insurance reimbursement.     
 These services reduce dependency upon Medical Assistance for the full    
 cost of care. However, Approximately 5 percent of those with HIV depend  
 on GAMC and 15 percent on Medical Assistance. They will have no place to 
 go if benefits are reduced. Flat funding limits the ability to meet      
 their needs through existing HIV drug and insurance reimbursement        
 programs.                                                                
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Minors' Access to Health Services Threatened                             
                                                                          
 Rep. Tim Wilken [R-Eagan] introduced a bill to eliminate minors access   
 to confidential health services. HF 352 would essentially require teens  
 who might want screening for HIV or STDs or have questions about         
 pregnancy or substance abuse to show up with a permission slip from      
 their parents before they can receive health care services. The bill     
 prohibits schools from providing any such services - i.e., no condoms    
 available through school-based services - and repeals the state's        
 minors' consent law. It also prohibits minors who are mothers from       
 consenting to health services for themselves or their child without      
 asking their parents - unless they are married.                          
                                                                          
 According to the American Medical Association (AMA), confidential health 
 services for adolescents have become increasingly important as the       
 severity and prevalence of adolescent health problems have increased     
 over the past two decades.                                               
 The good news is, according to AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs, most 
 adolescents (55 percent) discuss their use of reproductive health        
 services with their parents, and a greater number of adolescents involve 
 their parents in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.                    
                                                                          
 The bad news: AMA reported 25 percent of teens would not seek medical    
 care if it meant their parents finding out they are sexually active.     
                                                                          
 To learn more about HF 352 and where MAP stands on the minor's consent   
 issue, please go to our 2003 - 2004 Action Agenda page. Watch for more   
 information about the Sex Ed for Life Youth Action Day at the Capitol on 
 March 13.                                                                
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Experts Advice Coleman About Global Response                             
                                                                          
 Nearly three-dozen experts in HIV research and care, prevention, and     
 global aid met with Sen. Coleman [R-MN] at MAP on February 15 to start a 
 conversation about Minnesota's role in responding to the global          
 epidemic. Participants identified activities underway and possibilities  
 for more efforts. They also cautioned that reductions in responding to   
 the domestic epidemic would undermine capacities to be an effective      
 partner. Read about the meeting: Minnesota losing ground in AIDS fight,  
 experts tell Coleman Pioneer Press [February 16, 2003]                   
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Lawmakers Announce Plans to Introduce Comp Sex Ed Bill                   
                                                                          
 At a Valentine's Day press conference, Rep. Jim Davnie [D-Mpls], Sen.    
 Mee Moua [D-StP] and the Sex Ed for Life Coalition announced plans to    
 introduce a bill to restore comprehensive sexual health education as the 
 standard for HIV and STD prevention curriculum in schools. The bill will 
 be introduced the week of February 25 but you can check out a copy on    
 the 2003 - 2004 Action Agenda page. Also, read about the press           
 conference: High schoolers urge Minnesota legislators to support sex Ed  
 Star Tribune [February 15, 2003]                                         
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 New Plan Eased Impact of HIV/STD Cuts                                    
                                                                          
 Cooler heads prevailed. Health Department officials were given the       
 opportunity to come up with an alternative to the $1.2 million           
 unallotment cut in HIV/STD prevention community grants initially         
 proposed by Gov. Pawlenty. They came back with a plan to redistribute    
 the reductions in such a way as to protect core HIV and STD prevention   
 services including counseling and testing, the statewide HIV information 
 and referral hotline, and most community-based services providing        
 outreach and education in high risk communities.                         
                                                                          
 However, cuts in basic county public health services were made deeper    
 through this plan, important research efforts to help better direct      
 prevention efforts got shelved, and in other unallotment decisions,      
 access to health services was curtailed. For example, work to develop a  
 plan for addressing the emergent epidemic among African-born Minnesotans 
 has been set aside. Community-based HIV prevention services have been    
 cut. MAP lost funding for a service to ease access to clean syringes     
 through pharmacies. Minnesota Men of Color lost all of its HIV           
 prevention funding. Youth and AIDS Project, The City, Inc., and the HIM  
 Program at the Red Door Clinic as well as other lost funding for         
 targeted prevention services.                                            
                                                                          
                                                                          
 MAP Testifies on Role of Non-profits in Public Health                    
                                                                          
 Nonprofit providers are able to make sense of all of the goals,          
 objectives and entangled funding streams created by lawmakers to get at  
 complex public health needs. Nonprofit providers such as MAP and others  
 are able to create one-stop access points where people can actually get  
 the intended services in a way that makes sense. This is one of the      
 points Bob Tracy, MAP's director of community affairs and education made 
 when invited to present at a hearing on public health and nonprofit      
 partnerships hosted by the Senate Health and Family Security Committee   
 on February 11. MAP also noted that nonprofit make public-private        
 partnerships happen by bringing together public and private dollars.     
                                                                          
                                                                          
 A Closer Look At the "No Tax" Argument [From MAP Advocate 1/10/03]       
                                                                          
                                                                          
 The price of government has been dropping in Minnesota since 1999.       
 Surprised to hear that? Yup, through the 90s, the cost of government as  
 a percentage of Minnesotan's income was about 17.5%. Now it's around     
 15.5%. Not only has the tax burden been going down, but it's been        
 shifted more and more from broad based, progressive state taxes to the   
 local property taxes - the one's least responsive to a person's income   
 and ability to pay.                                                      
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Some say the reason the State has a budget crisis is that government     
 spending has been going up. The reality is it hasn't. What we did was    
 pull back state spending and cut taxes. Now we are told the only choice  
 for Minnesotan's is to make deep, deep cuts. However, if things like HIV 
 and STD prevention, health education for kids, and health care and       
 social services for communities affected by HIV are important, we may    
 need to ask if we should have more options.                              
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Maybe, just maybe, the solution to the State's budget woes can be a      
 balanced mix of spending adjustments and inching up the cost of          
 government a bit back toward those pre-1999 levels. Care about HIV?      
 Thought taxes had nothing to do with that? We all may need to think      
 again - especially our Governor and State Legislators.                   
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          








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