To the Editor,
I read with sheer disgust the actions in the Texas House of Representatives this week. State Representative Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufmann, successfully funneled money intended for HIV education to abstinence only education.
I guess Iíll need to put my nurseís cap on and give Texas Republicans a lesson on sexually-transmitted diseases.
Texas leads the nation in newly-diagnosed HIV cases in people under 21 years of age. You read that correctly. The time from HIV diagnosis to full-blown AIDS is 12 months in these kids. The treatment for HIV is a very expensive medication regimen, generally paid for by the Ryan White Program and tax dollars.
House Republicans funneled $3 million into a program that has been proven to be unsuccessful.
House Republicans cost the state of Texas $20,000 per year for each new HIV patient. There are roughly 4,500 new HIV diagnoses per year in Texas. That results in $90 million in health care costs that might not have existed had there been education and support for high-risk populations. In Texas, new cases are found in homo- and heterosexual relationships and IV drug abusers.
This fiasco has pointed out two very serious flaws in the Texas political system. First, your personal beliefs do not trump the needs of Texans as a whole.
Second, your unbridled contempt of LGBT Texans will turn around and bite you in the rear.
Just talk to Mr. Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, about how cutting HIV education and resources worked for his state.