Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
AIDS Project Rhode Island Shuts Down Hotline Because of Lack of Calls, Funding
AIDS Project Rhode Island on Jan. 31 shut down its toll-free hotline after 18 years of operation because of a decline in the number of callers over the past decade and the increasing availability of HIV/AIDS-related information from other sources, such as the Internet, the Providence Journal reports. Although the hotline received 3,500 to 5,000 calls annually up until the mid-1990s, "barely" 500 calls were received during 2004, according to the Journal. Therefore, the state Department of Health did not seek renewal of a $48,000 federal grant used to operate the service. The hotline "was one of the first programs of the project," Philip Kane, former prevention director for the AIDS Project and current outreach coordinator for the Thundermist Health Center's HIV/AIDS program, said, adding, "It was a place where people could go and get information in a comfortable, nonthreatening, nonjudgmental way. It served a purpose, and I think it helped." About $3,000 of the federal grant also was used to finance the AIDS Project's speakers' bureau, which provided stipends to HIV-positive people who visited middle and high schools throughout Rhode Island, the Journal reports. Currently, the health department is attempting to find other funding sources to continue the speakers' bureau, according to the Journal (Freyer, Providence Journal, 12/27/04).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.