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U.S. News

California: San Francisco Faces $3 Million in AIDS Cuts

May 22, 2008

As San Francisco struggles to close its budget gap, AIDS agencies there face a second round of proposed cuts totaling more than $3 million. Previously, the Health Commission approved a reduction of about $2.2 million in HIV/AIDS services, among other items reduced.

The first cuts targeted personnel, overhead, substance abuse, and primary care services. HIV-related services most recently hit include meal deliveries, legal assistance, and emergency financial support.

The AIDS Emergency Fund is losing $249,544, which wipes out its general fund contract, said Mike Smith, executive director. Government funding for AEF, which provides emergency financial assistance to HIV/AIDS patients, will be about $600,000 in 2008-09.

Project Open Hand already expected to lose $106,768, but the new cuts initiated at Mayor Gavin Newsom's request would cut it by another $375,166, for a total of $481,934. POH provides meals for people with HIV, among others, in San Francisco and Alameda counties.

The cuts to POH translate to 426 clients with HIV/AIDS not receiving meals through the contract, said Jim Illig, its executive director. While private sources of funding might pull the agency through, "POH already matches every dollar from the government with two dollars from private sources to fund our meals and groceries," Illig said. "Finding additional private revenue to cover this loss would be very difficult."

Shanti expected about a $200,000 hit before, and now stands to lose about $400,000 in total, said Mark Molnar, HIV services director for the group. Half the cuts affect contracts Shanti shares with other agencies, including the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, to help with volunteer services, care coordination, a drop-in center, and other activities.

The budget is due to the Board of Supervisors by June 2, and it has to approve a finalized budget by the last working day in July, said Joe Arellano, the mayor's deputy communications director.

Back to other news for May 2008

Adapted from:
Bay Area Reporter
05.22.2008; Seth Hemmelgarn

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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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