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U.S. News

Missouri: St. Louis-Area AIDS Services Slashed

March 15, 2004

A dramatic cut this year in federal Ryan White Title I grants to the St. Louis area makes the region the biggest loser among the 51 metropolitan areas vying for the awards, which were announced March 4. The city's 14 percent cut from the previous year's level means the St. Louis region will receive $4.3 million in Ryan White money this year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The funding reduction comes despite the region's increase in new HIV cases, from 10-15 new HIV cases a month in 2002 to 35 per month in 2003. Efforts to identify and test those most at risk for the virus are uncovering more AIDS cases. It is troubling that those who are newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS will enter the public health system, said David Salter, St. Louis' grants administrator, only to be placed on a waiting list for services.

The Metro St. Louis HIV Health Services Planning Council had to cut $700,000 for services including housing, food, drug cost reimbursement, childcare, transportation, and emergency financial assistance. The council agreed to keep funds for primary care and insurance reimbursements. About $1 million goes to drug cost reimbursements. Other cuts hit transportation, mental health services, food banks, and case managers that help clients access services.

To ensure that the HIV/AIDS patients with most need get assistance, the council restricted eligibility criteria for housing, food, and mental health services. A family of four must not earn above $18,850 a year to qualify.

Back to other news for March 15, 2004

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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