(CBS) — AIDS activists are hoping that Governor Rauner can be convinced to forego cuts in the state’s AIDS treatment and prevention budgets.

Until recent days, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago would have graded Rauner at an “F.” But the governor’s decision to restore $26 million in grant cuts for services ranging from autism treatment to burial services for the poor show AIDS Foundation Vice President Ramon Gardenhire that Rauner is listening, and is willing to spend now to save later.

“Hopefully that governor is seeing that there’s room to negotiate to make sure that critical programs are funded at adequate levels,” he said.

Gardenhire said the cuts Rauner has proposed would erase $6 million of the state’s funding for AIDS services and treatment. But he said more important, it would erase $1 million, a 67 percent cut in funding for 7,000 AIDS tests and prevention materials each year. He said the lifetime care for three AIDS patients would cost more than what’s saved by cutting the testing and prevention budget.

He said the AIDS Foundation and other LBGT groups will step up lobbying, targeting Rauner staff and lawmakers.