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May 8, 1996

Politicians, AIDS Experts Wage Budget Debate

JAMA. 1996;275(18):1390-1391. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530420018010

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A NEW REPORT that recommends restructuring federal AIDS research has reignited a tug-of-war over who should control the purse strings for such research.

During a news conference last month in Chicago, Ill, a trio of AIDS experts called on a small group in Congress to restore full spending authority to the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"The promise of AIDS research is very much at risk because of these debates," said Mathilde Krim, PhD, chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR). Krim was joined by Mark Harrington, policy director of the New York, NY—based Treatment Action Group, and Steven Wolinsky, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

Harrington and Wolinsky were among the 114 scientists, academics, drug company representatives, and community advocates who conducted a sweeping review of the $1.4 billion NIH AIDS research effort.