Proposed Connecticut Budget Cuts Raise Concerns Among Some HIV/AIDS Advocates
Some advocates in Connecticut are urging officials to reject a proposed $3 million cut to state programs that provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS, the AP/Hartford Courant reports (AP/Hartford Courant, 2/2).
The advocates say they are concerned that the Department of Public Health's proposed budget cut will harm programs that support low-income populations living with HIV/AIDS. John Merz, executive director of Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition, said the proposed cut would mirror similar federal funding reductions in 2006 that jeopardized programs to provide housing, food, case management, transportation and other assistance to HIV-positive people. Merz said his organization is lobbying state lawmakers to restore the funding before the budget is approved. He said, "We know already, people are slipping through the safety net. If you cut the safety net people are going to fall through."
According to the Republican American, the health department in January reported that 10,860 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the state, a 4.1% increase compared with 2007 that followed a 4.7% increase from 2006 figures. In addition, the number of new HIV cases recorded in Connecticut decreased from 772 in 2007 to 387 in 2008, while the number of reported AIDS cases decreased from 418 in 2007 to 358 in 2008 (Moore, Republican American, 2/2).