Illinois: Test Positive Aware Network Loses $125,000 in Federal Funding
May 5, 2006
At Edgewater-based Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), officials are reacting to a cut of more than $125,000 in federal funding for an HIV/AIDS treatment program targeting people of color.
In March, the agency learned it would lose 77 percent of the funds it received from the Ryan White Minority AIDS Initiative. The grant, intended for treatment adherence programs, is distributed locally under a formula determined by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). TPAN officials knew a cut was coming but hoped it would be no more than 50 percent.
In a press release last week, TPAN said other local agencies sharing in the funds saw a cut of only about 3 percent, and "CDPH gave assurances that all treatment adherence programs performed equally well despite the formula that was applied."
The federal government's 53 percent cut in funds for Chicago was "very untimely and unfortunate," said Christopher Brown, CDPH assistant commissioner for STD/HIV/AIDS programs. The actual reduction to individual agencies was determined by the local Title I Planning Council, added Brown. "There are six agencies under treatment adherence," he said. "TPAN had the largest amount of funding by far," he said, and TPAN still receives more Minority AIDS Initiative funds than other area agencies.
Brown said he called TPAN Executive Director Rick Bejlovec "as soon as I knew we were getting a cut." CDPH is "completely committed to helping [TPAN] find resources," he said. "They're a great agency, and we're committed to partnering with them."
Chicago received a higher cut to its Minority AIDS Initiative funding than other cities, especially given the epidemic's disproportionate effect on area communities of color, TPAN said.
"Even though we will inevitably have to cut some of our services," Bejlovec said in a statement, "TPAN remains committed to the people we serve." TPAN is appealing to the Chicago community for support.
Chicago Free Press
05.03.2006; Gary Barlow
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.