AIDS Advocacy Group Protests Alameda County, Calif., Decision to Shift Funds from Specialized Medical Services
The Alameda County, Calif., Office of AIDS will shift $120,000 in HIV/AIDS funding to other county programs, according to a press release from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. AHF, the largest provider of specialized HIV/AIDS care in the United States, is protesting the cuts, which include nearly $45,000 from specialized medical services for people with HIV/AIDS. "Medical care for uninsured people with HIV/AIDS is already in a crisis state in Alameda County, but instead of fixing the problem, the Office of AIDS is making it worse," AHF spokesperson Clint Trout said. A recent report from an HIV task force serving the Oakland area states that even without the cuts, medical care for uninsured Alameda County residents with HIV/AIDS would need an additional $800,000 in funding to be comparable to services in other areas. The report also states that Alameda County allocates "a much smaller proportion" of federal HIV/AIDS funding to medical care "than is the norm across the nation" and urges county officials to boost funding for HIV/AIDS medical programs. "These disparities in health care would never happen in Los Angeles, San Francisco or even San Bernardino or Orange counties. These areas spend a much larger proportion of the federal dollars they receive for AIDS on medical care. Alameda County must begin to prioritize medical care, or patient care will continue to suffer," Trout said (AHF release, 7/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.