California: HIV Prevention Director Expects Level Funding
February 17, 2006
San Francisco's interim HIV prevention director said she does not anticipate cuts in HIV prevention funding when the health department presents its budget next month. In previous years, $1 million or more in budget cuts to HIV agencies have been proposed. But every year, the Board of Supervisors, after hearing public testimony and lobbying by agencies, has found the funding. This year, with the city's deficit cut to $35 million from a projected $80 million, "I think the city is committed to HIV prevention and care," Tracey Packer said. She added, "If there are cuts, we'll manage it. The goal is to maintain services."
Packer took the position of interim HIV prevention director last year on World AIDS Day. It is the second time in her thirteen years with the health department that she has served as interim director.
Packer said the planned change to use names reporting for HIV has not elicited much negative reaction. Neither has the implementation of a new federal program requiring agencies to collect behavioral information on HIV patients caused opposition from San Francisco service providers. CDC's Program Evaluation & Monitoring System has been criticized by groups such as Washington, DC-based Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project and Vermont Cares. Packer said San Francisco agencies have been collecting behavioral information for the past three years, and no one has raised any concerns.
With the city facing at least $7 million up to $9 million in funding cuts under the federal Ryan White CARE Act, the HIV Prevention and Planning Council, of which Packer is co-chairperson, will look at ways to possibly integrate prevention and care services. "We want to look at how closely can we link things in the future, and as funding decreases, how we can work together," she said.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
02.16.2006; Matthew S. Bajko
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.