Miami AIDS Summit Calls for Increased Federal Funding
At an AIDS summit in Miami on Saturday that drew about 700 activists, speakers called on federal leaders to declare AIDS a public health emergency, a move that would make more funding available for prevention and treatment efforts, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Summit organizer U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek (D) said, "When we have a hurricane or a natural disaster, we come up with some emergency supplemental dollars, and that's what I think we need to do here," noting that Florida has an HIV/AIDS rate worse than 44 other states. Dan Wall, who oversees Miami-Dade County's use of federal Ryan White CARE Act funding for HIV/AIDS patients, said that federal limits on the funding program have forced him to "ration" services. He said, "Ryan White dollars were created to help people who fall through the cracks in our health care system. Well, let me tell you, there are some very large cracks." State Rep. Frederica Wilson (D) said that Florida should work to decrease HIV transmission among prison and jail inmates, whose risks are six times higher than the general population. Joni Harris, Miami's assistant director of community development, called for more housing programs for people living with AIDS. Miami Mayor Joe Corollo said he would convene a "red ribbon" panel to advise the city about HIV services for residents (Singer, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 7/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.