November 28, 2012
WASHINGTON (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) -- Endangered federal spending on HIV/AIDS research and prevention is the latest fear to arise from the looming US "fiscal cliff," with deep budget cuts starting in January unless Congress acts to soften the severe austerity measures.
To show their dismay over potential cuts to AIDS programmes, a group of protesters stormed the office of Republican House Speaker John Boehner and disrobed. Seven naked protesters chanted slogans such as, "Budget cuts are really rude, that's why we have to be so nude," according to reporters present during the Tuesday incident.
While four men managed to flee US Capitol police, three women demonstrators were arrested for indecent exposure.
The protesters were joined by a larger group of supporters who stayed clothed. Many of the demonstrators were reportedly HIV positive.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected Thursday to unveil what she calls a blueprint to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
On Wednesday, the US government announced a programme to encourage research efforts to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to newborn children. The awards will total 7.5 million dollars in grants over the next two years.
Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH