St. Louis, Mo.-Based Black AIDS Group Protests ‘Slashed’ Funding
Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS, a community-based organization providing AIDS services to minority groups, on Tuesday demonstrated outside of the St. Louis, Mo., Department of Health headquarters in protest of "slashed" funding, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The city health department distributes $240,000 in federal dollars to local groups for AIDS prevention activities, and last year Blacks Assisting Blacks received about $34,000 for its services. Erise Williams, the group's executive director, said, "More than 50% of the people with HIV/AIDS in this region are African American, yet [this year] our organization received only $11,000 out of that $240,000." Health department spokesperson Ellen Ellick said that although the organization did not receive as much funding as requested, "it's not true that the African-American community will receive less money for HIV/AIDS prevention activities. ... Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS is not the only organization that provides HIV/AIDS prevention in the African-American community." She added that about 65% of the federal money will go to local groups that provide services to African Americans. But Williams countered that the group deserved a larger percentage of the money as it is the only minority AIDS group in the area. "People are more receptive to getting information from people who look like them and understand their culture," he said (Shelton, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.