New York City AIDS Groups Lose ‘Millions’ in Wake of Terrorist Attacks
The Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center has resulted in losses of millions of dollars for AIDS groups that serve New York City, according to findings from a review conducted by the AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health. A Housing Works release states that "[t]op officials" from the institute are conducting a "careful and complete formal assessment" of the impact of the attacks on AIDS groups serving lower Manhattan and New York City. "Insiders" say the review has revealed that New York City AIDS groups have lost millions of dollars due to an interruption in service and "incurred unexpected costs for the provision of emergency food and shelter to their clients and to those in need of immediate help." Most AIDS groups experienced "significant disruptions" in offering services, including "extensive office closures and problems with communications, transportation and client and staff access." Agencies expect to incur additional expenses for services such as mental health care in the weeks to come. Officials from the AIDS Institute and the state health department anticipate that money from federal and state relief agencies will be given to help shore up the infrastructure of groups that "have suffered significant losses." Government funding will also be needed to pay providers for "extraordinary costs" incurred during the past two weeks. However, health officials warn that chemical or biological weapons could be particularly harmful to individuals with compromised immune systems and recommend that health agencies communicate any "new or unusual disease outbreaks or disturbing symptoms to state and federal public health monitors" (Housing Works release, 9/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.