Southern U.S. Not Receiving Adequate Federal Funding to Provide HIV/AIDS Prevention, Support, Report Says
July 21, 2008
The Southern U.S. is not receiving enough federal funding to provide adequate HIV prevention, treatment and support programs, according to a report scheduled to be released on Monday by the Southern AIDS Coalition, the Birmingham News reports.
According to the News, much of the funding issue "revolves around funding formulas devised early in the HIV/AIDS epidemic." These initial funding formulas were based on cumulative AIDS cases as opposed to HIV cases, giving "an advantage to large metropolitan areas where the epidemic started," according to the News. Last year, authorities adjusted Ryan White Program funding formulas, and the changes have helped, the News reports. However, the South still ranks No. 1 nationwide in the number of new HIV cases but ranks last out of four regions nationwide in overall federal funding. The federal government distributes about $6,565 annually for each person living with AIDS in the South, compared with $6,963 per person in the North, which has a higher percentage of AIDS cases, the News reports. "We're driving the epidemic, but we're still getting the least money," Hiers said.
Gary Puckrein, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, said that "one of the big misconceptions is it is big cities on the West Coast and East Coast that are really driving the disease," adding that the epidemic has "moved both in terms of geography and demography." Puckrein added, "It's really important for people in Southern states to know that because they're not getting their fair share of [federal] support."
Another report, released in May by Funders Concerned About AIDS, found that the South also receives less private funding to fight HIV/AIDS, the News reports. The report found that the South received only 19% of U.S. donations for HIV/AIDS in 2006 (Parks, Birmingham News, 7/20).
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.