Advocates Hope that Sunday's Town Hall in Hollywood Will Result in More Funding and Greater Diversity
October 16, 2009
In preparation for drafting the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the Office of National AIDS Policy is conducting town hall meetings across the country and gathering public input online. The effort is expected to help guide federal funding for HIV/AIDS programs and research. On Sunday, ONAP will host a public forum at Hollywood High School from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Ahead of the town hall, Los Angeles-area AIDS activists are preparing their comments and feedback. Phill Wilson, head of the Black AIDS Institute, met Tuesday with a group of advocates at his office near MacArthur Park. Many there expressed concern about state budget cuts that slashed LA County HIV/AIDS program funding this summer nearly in half, or by roughly $11 million.
Wilson urged advocates to implore Obama's AIDS czar, Jeff Crowley, for more research supporting African-American and Latino HIV/AIDS programs. Crowley said in an e-mail that the White House intends to prioritize funding for those at greatest risk of HIV, including black and Hispanic men who have sex with men.
Alfredo Vargas, who conducted peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS outreach in local nightclubs until being laid off this summer due to state funding cuts, plans to represent minority youth at the forum. "What is the Obama administration going to do to help us out, to keep ourselves negative or, if we're positive, to take better care of ourselves?" he asked. "They need to learn the importance of why we need the things we do."
Los Angeles Times
10.16.2009; Molly Hennessey-Fiske
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.