Minn. Lawmakers To Introduce Emergency Funding Bill for AIDS Education Program Targeting African-Born Immigrants
Two Minnesota lawmakers from Minneapolis this week plan to introduce in the state House a bill calling for a one-time emergency appropriation of $300,000 for an HIV/AIDS education campaign targeting African-born immigrants in the state, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The number of African-born immigrants in the state rose 600% between 1990 and 2000, and although the 35,000 immigrants currently account for less than 1% of the state population, they accounted for 21% of the new HIV cases reported in 2002, the Pioneer Press reports. The epidemic is being fueled by a "lack of knowledge, fear, denial and limited social rights among African-born women," the Minnesota AIDS Project said, according to the Pioneer Press. State Rep. Karen Clark (DFL), one of the bill's sponsors, said that it costs between $25,000 and $40,000 a year to treat a person with AIDS. Preventing just 10 people in the state from contracting HIV would pay for the state's entire education program, Clark said. Clark and state Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL), who plans to sponsor the bill in the state Senate, last week said they plan to recruit other sponsors before introducing the bill this week (Majeski, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.