Arizona Hispanic Group Reverses Decision To End HIV/AIDS Services Through Ryan White Program
Arizona-based Chicanos Por La Causa will continue offering HIV/AIDS services through the Ryan White Program, following a pledge by two state officials to help the group raise about $43,000 through private donors to maintain the services, the Arizona Republic reports. According to the Republic, Chicanos Por La Causa is one of "a handful of organizations that specialize in helping Latinos, especially immigrants and Spanish speakers, manage" HIV/AIDS (Wingett, Arizona Republic, 1/12). Hispanics represent 23% of Arizona's known HIV/AIDS cases.
The group received $284,992 in Ryan White funding this fiscal year, an increase over the $256,908 it had received in the previous fiscal year. However, Edmundo Hidalgo, CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, said the group stood to lose $45,000 if it continued its HIV/AIDS services through the end of the fiscal year. The group's caseload ranges from 50 to 100 clients, and it provides such HIV/AIDS services as case management and behavioral health and nutrition programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/10).
Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and state Rep. Robert Meza (D) have pledged to help Chicanos Por La Causa raise funds to maintain its HIV/AIDS services. Hidalgo said, "It saves the program in the short term," adding, "We are collaborating with other providers to be able to save the program in [the] long term. It's unfortunate that this is the kind of crisis it takes to bring attention to it (HIV/AIDS)."
Wilcox added, "It would be really remiss not to have a culturally diverse program like CPLC doing this. The program is so fundamentally important to our community and the culturally diverse program they offer is necessary" (Arizona Republic, 1/12).