Palm Beach County, Fla., Commissioners Approve Plan To Reduce HIV/AIDS Services by $600,000 in 2009
The Palm Beach County, Fla., commissioners have approved a plan to reduce funding for food and medical case management services for people living with HIV/AIDS by $600,000 in 2009, Larry Leed of the Palm Beach County HIV CARE Council announced on Tuesday, the Palm Beach Post reports. According to the Post, the decision is in response to the continued decrease in Ryan White Program funding.
The county is receiving $7.7 million in Ryan White money this year, which is $68,000 more than in 2007. However, it remains short of what the county received five years ago, before funding was reduced by 13%. According to county officials, there were 7,130 HIV cases reported in the county in 2006 -- the most recent year for which data are available.
The HIV CARE Council -- which assesses the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in the county and recommends to county officials how to allocate the funding -- recommended that the money for all services be reduced by 9%. However, the county decided to take the largest reduction from medical case management, which will leave 500 people without services, according to Leed. County Community Services Director Ed Rich said the county is following federal guidelines to spend most of the funds on direct medical services. "We just don't have the money for all the services, so we try to follow the mandates as closely as possible," Rich said (Barton, Palm Beach Post, 6/3).