California: Funding Cuts Force Closing of AIDS Center
January 19, 2006
Founded five years ago, the nonprofit Center for Complementary Care (CCC) in Sacramento is closing its doors at the end of February as a result of federal funding cuts.
Each month, CCC provides 75-100 HIV/AIDS patients discount sessions of massage, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and nutrition counseling. "Preventative services tend not to get the recognition or funding they merit," said Jan Trifiro, CCC's executive director. "It's unfortunate, because preventative medicine is cost-effective and it offers a higher quality of life for people in the HIV-positive community."
"This is a stressful disease. And that stress can lead to bad habits, and hypertension, and overeating," said Azizza Davis Goines, community relations director at CARES, a nonprofit Sacramento HIV/AIDS clinic. "They offered a way to relax."
While many nonprofits have been struggling with financial issues, recent budget cuts have hit social-service providers hardest, said Goines. "Everybody's feeling the pinch," she said, adding that CCC's closure was not unexpected.
Trifiro said CCC had to fight the perception its treatments are "New Age-y" and inessential to health. But the services complement drug therapy, she said. "Yes, these drugs are doing a great job of keeping them alive longer, but they're causing discomfort, too," she said, pointing out that many patients have neuropathy, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
According to tax documents, CCC's annual budget was about $100,000 in 2003. Much of CCC's funding was through the federal Ryan White CARE Act, Trifiro said. The California Endowment also provided funding to the center.
Many of CCC's therapists have offered to continue seeing their clients after the center closes, said Trifiro.
01.16.2006; Todd Milbourn
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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.