South Florida Receives Less Federal AIDS Funding Than Last Year, May Cut Some HIV/AIDS Social Service Programs
AIDS organizations in South Florida may have to cut some social service programs for HIV-positive people because the region is receiving less federal HIV/AIDS funding than it did last year, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. The government last week announced a 5% cut in funding for Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties but said that funding for Broward County will remain the same as last year's funding level (LaMendola, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 3/8). The Florida grants were included in 51 Ryan White CARE Act grants announced last week by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. The grants, which total $595 million, are provided to cities nationwide to fund care and support services for low-income HIV-positive people. Forty of the 51 grants are less than last year's funding levels, with cuts ranging from 3% to 14% (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/2). AIDS advocates predicted that the decreased funding levels would lead to cuts in secondary services, resulting in stricter eligibility requirements for donated food, longer waits for doctor appointments, fewer prevention education programs and fewer bus vouchers. Palm Beach County already had begun to cut services in anticipation of receiving the same $9.9 million grant it received last year. However, the county received $500,000 less than the amount it received last year, and David Bagley, chair of the Palm Beach County HIV Care Council, on Monday called an emergency meeting to discuss making additional cuts to county programs. Keith Cromley, chair of the Miami-Dade HIV/AIDS Partnership, said that the county is planning to shift some Ryan White patients to other government assistance programs, including veterans' assistance programs, food banks and public buses (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 3/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.