San Francisco Public Health Department, HIV/AIDS Advocates Begin Meetings To Revamp City’s HIV/AIDS Care System
Officials from the San Francisco Department of Public Health on Thursday met with leaders from nearly 50 HIV/AIDS organizations in the first of a series of community meetings to revamp the city's HIV/AIDS care system, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. According to the Chronicle, the San Francisco HIV Health Planning Work Group, which has a $100,000 grant from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, at the meetings will develop a draft plan to outline a new strategy to fight HIV/AIDS in the city over the next 10 years. The meetings will seek ideas and comments for new programs from community members and will organize smaller focus groups to meet before the draft plan is written in December.
Ryan White Program funds for San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties in California have decreased from $43 million in 1999 to $19 million for the fiscal year that will end in February 2008, and federal funding is expected to be reduced further, the Chronicle reports (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26). The House last week voted 230-196 to defeat an amendment in the FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (HR 3043) that would have reduced Ryan White funding for San Francisco and other areas (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/20). However, the outcome is uncertain because the Senate has not yet acted on a companion measure, the Chronicle reports.
City Supervisor Bevan Dufty said that HIV/AIDS advocates should not depend on a change in the political climate to increase funding for HIV/AIDS programs. The number of people living with HIV in the area has increased by about 35% in recent years to about 20,000 people, the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26).