N.M. Governor Signs Bills Creating HIV/AIDS Policy Commission, Directing Health Dept. To Coordinate Services
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) on Saturday signed a bill (SB 313) creating a state HIV/AIDS policy commission and another measure (SB 314) that directs the New Mexico Department of Health to coordinate HIV/AIDS services in the state, the AP/KOBTV.com reports (AP/KOBTV.com, 3/5). The first measure, sponsored by state Sen. Phil Griego (D), creates a 23-member commission to make recommendations on HIV/AIDS policy to the state health department (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/17). The commission will be made up of people living with HIV/AIDS, HMO representatives, members of the public and people with experience providing HIV/AIDS services. Under the second bill, also sponsored by Griego, a seven-member advisory committee will review HIV/AIDS policies and services and a constituent services program will review requests for services and complaints. "In numerous other states, people are dying while waiting for their AIDS medications," Richardson said, adding, "This is not going to happen in New Mexico." The number of HIV-positive New Mexicans has nearly doubled since 1990 to 1,910 in 2003, according to the Associated Press (Associated Press, 3/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.