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National News

Wyoming: AIDS Program Funding Remains Intact for Now

June 11, 2002

The Wyoming AIDS Project (WAP) will continue to get federal funding for at least 60 days after reaching an agreement with the Wyoming Department of Health and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Health Department notified WAP May 2 that on May 31 it would lose its funding under HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program (HOPWA). WAP and the Casper Housing Authority responded by filing a preliminary injunction against the Health Department and HUD, alleging breach of contract.

A hearing on the funding dispute had been scheduled for Friday but was postponed because of the arrangement. Under the agreement, the federal agencies will monitor the performance of WAP. Charles Chapin, the attorney representing WAP, said Thursday that the parties would meet after the 60-day monitoring period and discuss their findings and any concerns.

WAP Director Tonya Cain said losing the funding would financially ruin her organization and would diminish or eliminate the services provided to HIV/AIDS patients and their families. But Health Department spokesperson Ross Doman questioned whether services for low-income HIV/AIDS patients would be halted if WAP lost funding. "Wyoming AIDS Project is not the clearinghouse for services for people who are HIV-positive or with AIDS in the state," he said. "People can access the same services that they offer in any county in the state, including Natrona, by going and visiting the county health office."

Dr. Mark Dowell, an infectious disease specialist in Casper, said WAP's services are integral to his patients. "The director works with me all the time," he said. "We can find ways to get patients their medication, their doctors visits, their nutrition, that kind of thing. If that's what they're talking about, it is a very integral part of the care of my patients. It's very valuable."

Back to other CDC news for June 11, 2002

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Adapted from:
Associated Press

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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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