Connecticut Losing AIDS Funds; Cities, Advocates Work to Fill Gap
March 22, 2007
Big cuts in the cities' Ryan White CARE Act funds are jeopardizing services for hundreds of HIV-positive people in Hartford and New Haven. "We were expecting some cuts, but nobody was prepared for this," said Paul Botticello, executive director of AIDS Project Hartford (APH). New Haven expected more than $6.6 million but received about $3.3 million; Hartford likewise got just half of the $4 million it had expected.
The effects of the reduced funding are already being felt:
The reductions are a result of changes Congress made in the CARE Act last year. A lower number of AIDS cases between 2001 and 2005 bumped the two cities down to a lower-priority funding level.
At a gathering of AIDS activists Tuesday at the Hispanic Health Council in Hartford, some said the city is being punished for keeping its HIV patients healthy so they do not progress to AIDS. Alternatively, some attendees questioned whether the state Department of Public Health might have failed to report an accurate AIDS case count to CDC.
While some additional money is anticipated next month, no one expects it to close the gap. Some advocates at the meeting vowed to turn to the state Legislature for help; however, there was little optimism help would be forthcoming.
03.21.2007; Hilary Waldman
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.