Petition to Congress
In December 2011, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2012 budget that cut funds for the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 25%, slashing $10 million in funding from an already small budget of $40 million.
Appropriations to DASH represent the only dedicated source of federal funding for school-based HIV prevention. A 25% reduction will drastically reduce the Division’s ability to assist schools in their efforts to provide students life-saving knowledge and skills to prevent HIV infection. Prior to this cut, DASH had been flat funded for over 10 years. The Fiscal Year 2013 budget process is about to get under way and your Members of Congress need to hear from you now about the importance of increasing DASH’s budget to $50 million in the coming year!
Created as a response to the HIV epidemic, for over 20 years DASH has effectively worked with schools across the country to build the infrastructure necessary to provide a coordinated approach to school health education—including HIV/STD prevention and sex education. HIV coordinator staff funded by DASH use an integrated approach to supply essential training, resources and technical assistance to teachers working with 71 state, local, tribal and territorial education agencies. DASH funding helps to provide educators with the tools they need to instruct students in preventing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and unintended pregnancy.
Young people make up one third of new HIV infections. Now is the time to increase HIV prevention efforts with young people, not drastically cut funding and dismantle programs that work on the ground where young people are: in our nation’s schools. We need your help to restore cuts in 2012 and fund DASH so it is able to continue and expand its much-needed work.
Contact your Members of Congress now and tell them about the importance of DASH’s work and the need to increase its funding in Fiscal Year 2013!