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U.S. News

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Activists Call on City to Cut AIDS Housing Waiting List

November 12, 2010

On Wednesday at City Hall, about 60 ACT UP Philadelphia members protested the city's waiting list for AIDS housing. From the beginning of the year to summer, the number of people waiting for city AIDS housing grew by 30 percent to more than 200, ACT UP said.

At a Monday meeting with Mayor Michael Nutter, group representatives gave him a petition signed by 75 area health officials urging Philadelphia to end the wait for housing subsidized with federal Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS funds. The program is overseen by the city's AIDS Activities Coordinating Office.


"We presented him with a plan; we showed him the costs, the savings and how it's cost effective to house people with AIDS as opposed to sending them to shelters," said Jose DeMarco of ACT UP. "But he said he can't commit to anything like that right now because of budgetary reasons. He says there's no money, but we know he's given huge corporate tax breaks and we know that there is money and that there is a way for him to do this."

In the past 18 months, at least six homeless people with HIV/AIDS died on Philadelphia's streets, DeMarco said.

"In the shelter system, you sleep on cots and you're basically inches apart from someone else," said ACT UP member Cliff Williams. "Sometimes they keep the air conditioning on when it's cold out and say it's to keep the germs down; but for someone who already has a compromised immune system, a group setting like that is not a good environment to be in."

"They basically have no base to work from," Williams said. "It's hard to look for work, get your life together, maintain your medications without someplace to come home to."

Back to other news for November 2010

Adapted from:
Philadelphia Gay News
11.11.2010; Jen Colletta

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.
See Also
More on U.S. Gov't Housing Assistance in Eastern States

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