Chicago City Council Members Call for Additional $1 Million in AIDS Funding
Twenty-six Chicago City Council members yesterday called on Mayor Richard Daley (D) to allocate an additional $1 million for AIDS prevention services in the proposed 2004 budget, according to an AIDS Foundation of Chicago release (AFC release, 5/5). "Although the AIDS epidemic has been steadily increasing in Chicago, city support for AIDS services has not kept pace with the need," the members wrote in a letter to Daley, adding that while AIDS cases in the city have increased by 21%, corporate funds devoted to prevention efforts have declined by 8%. In addition, the disease has disproportionately impacted blacks and Puerto Ricans, according to the letter. For example, blacks account for 66% of recently diagnosed adult AIDS cases and 64% of recently diagnosed HIV cases but only represent 36% of the city's total population, and the AIDS rate among Puerto Ricans -- 26 per 100,000 residents -- is second only to the rate among blacks -- 41 per 100,000 residents -- the letter states. The Council members note that they are "keenly aware" of the financial challenges facing the city, but they state that the crisis cannot wait until economic conditions improve, adding that each $1 million invested in prevention can save $2.7 million in averted health care costs. The members conclude that a $1 million increase in prevention funding must come from city corporate funds, because they cannot "realistically expect" any additional state or federal funding (Letter text, 5/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.