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U.S. News

California: Feds Trim HIV/AIDS Funding for Los Angeles County

April 19, 2004

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cut more than $3 million from Los Angeles County's annual Ryan White Title I funding even as the number of county HIV/AIDS cases is rising. The cuts mean the loss of services ranging from primary medical care to "buddy system" supports, officials said Thursday.

"It was shocking when these numbers came out," said Clint Trout, director of federal policy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "This means that services are going to get some serious cuts at a time when the patient population is growing."

When HHS awarded the grants last month, Los Angeles found that it lost $3.3 million (9 percent) in funding -- second only to San Francisco, which lost $4 million. In response, the county is planning to cut administrative costs by 8 percent and services by 3 percent, said Gunther Freehill, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy. "It's a real different world," he said. "There's no way we can make up this reduction without cutting some services. We just don't have fat to cut anymore."

The nationwide HIV/AIDS grants of $595 million constituted almost $4 million less than last year. Los Angeles received more than $36.6 million for 2004. Deborah Parham, associate administrator for the HHS HIV/AIDS Bureau, said the overall congressional cuts and an $18.2 million increase for New York City left less money for most other cities. New York got more funding in 2004 because it has the largest estimated number of AIDS patients, and because it lost money in 2003 due to a poor grant application.

More than 40,000 people in the county have HIV/AIDS, according to AIDS Project Los Angeles. And officials estimate about two-thirds of them require public-assisted care.

Back to other news for April 19, 2004

Adapted from:
Los Angeles Daily News
04.15.04; Lisa Friedman

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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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