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As states struggle with gaping budget deficits, lawmakers are looking for any area to make cuts. Unfortunately, in some cases, this means cutting back on programs such as HIV testing and other preventative measures.
For example, state representative Dave Agema recently introduced legislation into the Michigan House of Representatives that would eliminate state funding for all HIV prevention programs, according to the Michigan Messenger.
He said that the funds could be better used elsewhere. For example, he said that the federal government has pledged matching funds for efforts to build airports in the state, which he says would help create more jobs.
However, health groups say the effort is short-sighted. Laurel Strague, of the Michigan Positive Action Coalition, told the news source that the HIV testing programs save lives and are an invaluable part of public health strategy.
Another state legislator in North Carolina recently made headlines for also suggesting that his state cut HIV testing programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that HIV testing is the most effective way to stop the spread of the disease.
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