Rural Florida County Receives CARE Act Grant
Rural St. Johns County in Florida will receive funding from the Ryan White CARE Act, which officials plan to use for "education, intervention and treatment" for members of the community at risk for HIV/AIDS, the Business Journal of Jacksonville reports. Over the next three years, the county health department will receive $275,000 annually. Dr. Dan Morgann, senior physician at the County Health Department, said that part of the funding will create a facility that offers anonymous HIV screening. In addition, Morgann hopes to hire a health educator to teach the community about the disease and the treatments available. He added, "The problem is getting people tested. They're afraid of it." But Morgann said that the grant money will help people move past their fear of testing. "This grant will allow us to build a knowledge base, which is ultimately important. It destigmatizes the disease. We can tell people it isn't the end of the world if you have [HIV]. We can deal with it," he added. With 115 reported AIDS cases in the county, the health department currently serves 100 HIV-positive patients (Grogan, Business Journal of Jacksonville, 11/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.