New York: Health Chairs Join in AIDS Advocates' Fight
March 3, 2010
At a recent awareness event in Albany, members of the New York AIDS Coalition (NYAC) expressed concern over the governor's plans to consolidate HIV/AIDS services and to cut related funding.
NYAC spokesperson Daryl Cochrane said Gov. David A. Paterson's 2010-11 Executive Budget would reduce the number of HIV/AIDS budget lines and would group AIDS appropriations from about 60 to five categories of service. These proposals would make it more difficult for the Legislature to conduct appropriate oversight and make it harder to discern funding cuts and their impact on New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS, according to activists.
The budget includes almost $3.2 billion for HIV/AIDS, with $2.6 billion to support Medicaid services with federal, state, and local funding, said Jessica Bassett, spokesperson for the state Division of the Budget.
Together with consolidations in cancer and obesity programs, Paterson expects the HIV/AIDS spending cuts and restructuring will save New York $4.9 million in fiscal 2010-11 and $6.5 million in 2011-12.
NYAC wants lawmakers to provide a $2 million increase in HIV prevention and another $2 million for communities of color. The coalition also is asking for the restoration of funding for housing support and medical transportation services for HIV/AIDS patients.
"The HIV epidemic has not gone away; this is still a massive concern," Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) said at the event.
Gottfried and Senate Health Committee Chair Tom Duane (D-Manhattan) praised the governor for giving the Health Department oversight of health care provisions within the state's correctional facilities, but they called on the Legislature to fund the initiative. Noting that 8 percent of New York inmates are HIV-infected, NYAC suggested redirecting money from the Department of Correctional Services to the Health Department's AIDS Institute.
Legislative Gazette (Albany)
03.01.2010; James Nani
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.