Chicago City Council Member Proposes Budget Amendment To Increase HIV Prevention Funding by $1.7M
Chicago City Council member Tom Tunney has proposed a city budget amendment that would increase HIV prevention funding by $1.7 million for fiscal year 2007, the Chicago Tribune reports. The proposed amendment would draw the additional funds from available sources determined by the city's budget director and not from existing funds in the Chicago Department of Public Health. Some HIV/AIDS advocates have said that the budget increase could help alleviate recent funding cuts to prevention services -- such as needle-exchange programs, school-based HIV prevention education for at-risk youth, and programs that serve women and girls -- in the city. According to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, HIV prevention services this year experienced almost $500,000 in state and federal funding cuts. "We need these dollars for the ravaging effects of what's happening in the Latino and African-American communities," Tunney said. Health Commissioner Terry Mason applauded AIDS advocates for raising awareness of the issue but said greater advocacy is needed on the state and federal levels, where the city receives most of its HIV prevention funds. The last budget increase for HIV prevention services in Chicago occurred in 2003, when the City Council approved an additional $600,000, the Tribune reports. According to the AFC, the number of reported HIV/AIDS cases in the city has increased 20% since 2003, especially among Latino and black residents (Briggs, Chicago Tribune, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.