New Jersey Counties Under NYC Boundary Risk Losing Federal HIV/AIDS Funding, Advocates Say
HIV/AIDS advocates in three New Jersey counties that are included in the New York City metropolitan area following the federal government's redrawing of statistical boundaries are concerned that the counties could lose federal HIV/AIDS funding in the upcoming reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, the Bergen Record reports. After the last census, the Office of Management and Budget included Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties in the same area as New York City -- a move that will affect legislation and funding. AIDS advocates are concerned that North New Jersey might lose control of about $5 million in federal HIV/AIDS funding annually, and some advocates are worried that the state might lose the money altogether "in the shadow" of New York City, according to the Record. In addition, two national HIV/AIDS advocacy groups -- including the Washington, D.C.-based Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief Coalition -- have proposed earmarking North New Jersey's HIV/AIDS funding as part of New York City's share. Robert Cordero, a CAEAR board member, said the counties would continue to receive "their proportionate share" of HIV/AIDS funding and have a voice in how the funding is appropriated. However, Karen Walker, director of HIV services at the Paterson Counseling Center in Paterson, N.J., said, "Statistically, New Jersey is beginning to be wiped off the map." She added that 25% of HIV-positive New Jersey residents will be "under the control and the whims and wishes of New York City." Some HIV/AIDS advocates in New Jersey are circulating petitions asking for legislators to intervene. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) on Wednesday in a statement said he will help to organize a New Jersey delegation to "fight the proposed change" and protect HIV/AIDS funding in the state, according to the Record. In addition, local organizations plan to meet with a CAEAR Coalition representative this week to express their concerns, according to Catherine Correa, who directs Ryan White funding for Paterson (Meagher, Bergen Record, 4/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.