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U.S. News

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:

  • About a dozen Hartford HIV/AIDS agencies have begun laying off workers. This week, they will begin notifying clients of service cuts.
  • After laying off half its case managers, APH has just five managers to work with 200-300 clients, most of whom are in poverty and poor health.
  • The Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition, which has been providing small rent subsidies to 88 people, will this year be able to assist only 22.

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.

Back to other news for March 22, 2007

Adapted from:
Hartford Courant
03.21.2007; Hilary Waldman

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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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