February 3, 2010
On Jan. 15, the API Wellness Center (AWC) stopped offering services in Oakland and Daly City, a consequence of long-term funding cuts. For the past three years, public and private support for the services the San Francisco-based nonprofit provides to HIV-positive APIs has declined by more than $350,000 annually.
About 45 clients lost culturally and linguistically competent case management and other services in the two cities. AWC cut three full-time positions, including one case manager in each city, and two part-time positions.
In Oakland, some clients are transitioning to AIDS Project East Bay. It has a specialty HIV care clinic, provides housing assistance, and has access to translational services, said Kevin Bynes, its program director.
In Daly City, the AWC case manager had liaised with a San Mateo County medical provider and social worker, said Matt Geltmaker, the county STD/HIV program director. Medical care, financial assistance, and other services will still be offered locally but will not be culturally specific, he said.
AWC stopped receiving Ryan White Part A/Minority AIDS Initiative funding through the San Francisco Department of Public Health in February 2008. AWC's annual budget is now $3.7 million, and it has 135 active clients.
Beside case management, AWC offers mental health and health education services as well as HIV and hepatitis screening. The "wealth of services delivered by our San Francisco-based staff will continue, and we encourage our clients outside of San Francisco to access these resources to the extent they can," said Mike Rabanal, AWC's board chair.