Policy & Politics
Massachusetts: Advocates Say HIV/AIDS Funding Cuts Could Set Back Progress
May 30, 2012
More than a decade of efforts to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Massachusetts could be jeopardized by funding cuts, advocates warn.
HIV-related programming in the state has been reduced by 13 percent since 2008. Gov. Deval Patrick and lawmakers in both houses have proposed flat-funding HIV/AIDS services in the next fiscal year. In addition, the federal government plans to cut by half its $9 million in grants to Massachusetts over five years, said Kevin Cranston, director of the infectious-disease bureau at the state Department of Public Health.
"We have reasons to be concerned the success we've seen in reducing new cases of HIV might be reversed if our prevention, care, and resources continue to be impacted," said Cranston, noting that community-based providers already are coping with dwindling support from other sources.
The state saw new HIV infections drop by 45 percent during the last decade, from 1,179 in 2000 to 648 in 2010. HIV/AIDS-related deaths in the same period declined by a third. Cranston said those with the disease are living longer thanks to treatment advances, about two-thirds of HIV-positive state residents are older than 45.
Rebecca Haag of the AIDS Action Committee is calling on state legislators to boost funding from $32.1 million to $33.4 million this year. "Why would you not invest in a system that has demonstrated that you're actually reducing the burden in other parts of the budget?" asked Haag, AAC's president and CEO.
05.29.2012; David Riley
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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