San Francisco Mayor Rejects Proposed Budget Cuts to HIV/AIDS Services
May 28, 2008
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently rejected proposed cuts to HIV/AIDS services in his fiscal year 2009 budget, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. According to the Chronicle, Newsom rejected a proposal by Mitch Katz, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, to cut $3 million of the $10 million the department allocates to 30 not-for-profit groups that provide HIV/AIDS services.
Some HIV/AIDS advocates praised Newsom for not implementing the reductions but said the city should be investing more money because there are more people living with HIV/AIDS in the city and the amount of federal funding to San Francisco is uncertain. According to state figures, there are 4,512 HIV-positive people and 8,973 people with AIDS living in San Francisco. In addition, 800 to 1,000 people are newly diagnosed annually, the Chronicle reports. Ayrick Broin -- communications director for Immune Enhancement Project, which receives city funding -- said, "Maybe [AIDS groups] have gotten some extra dollars, but we've also done more protesting." He added that HIV/AIDS groups have "been the most vocal in getting the public aware and realizing this isn't a problem that's going away."
Mark Cloutier, executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said, "In order for people [living with HIV/AIDS] to participate in primary care, they need these other services." He added, "For people to remain adherent to their treatment regimen, they have to have their mental health issues and substance abuse issues under control, and they need to be stably housed so their lives are not chaotic" (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/28).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.