HIV Exacts Big Cost in South
April 22, 2009
The South is currently home to more than half of the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, according to the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC). In 2006, the federal government revised the formula for Ryan White distributions, boosting HIV/AIDS money to the region. But health care providers say they are still catching up from years of underfunding, and many Southern HIV/AIDS patients continue to lack adequate health care, housing, and transportation services.
"While the South has faced a higher burden of AIDS, the bulk of available data do not suggest that the epidemic in the South is worsening," said Dr. Richard Wolitiski, acting director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
The current economic crunch could hamper progress on HIV/AIDS funding in the South. A new study by the Trust for America's Health shows that during the downturn, Midwestern and Southern states are receiving fewer public health funds from CDC. This may be due to a lack of money available to CDC at the federal level and states failing to aggressively apply for all existing grants, said Jeff Levi, the trust's executive director.
04.13.2009; Dahleen Glanton