D.C. Mayor's Proposed Budget Leaves Very Little for People With HIV
By Candace Y.A. Montague
April 21, 2011
On Monday, the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute published its report on Mayor Gray's proposed budget for FY 2012. The budget shows that many of the cuts that were made a few years ago will stay in place and deepen in some areas where people with HIV are most dependent. According to Defeat Poverty D.C., one out of every three (33%) of the District's residents lives in poverty. These residents are highly concentrated in Wards 7 & 8. Moreover, these are also the Wards where the highest number of HIV infections rates are as well as the highest percentage of unemployment. Mayor Gray has not only asked to make cuts to programs designed to help impoverished citizens but his proposal also suggests cutting housing assistance for these residents as well.
The DCFPI report shows three significant areas that will affect people with HIV:
Keeping an HIV positive person healthy lowers their viral loads and makes the virus less likely to spread (though it's still quite possible). Being healthy includes adhering to medications and seeing a doctor regularly. However, if they are homeless, struggling to pay their bills or lack adequate health insurance, medication adherence and doctors visits will almost assuredly fall by the wayside. Surely there must be some other way to generate revenue for the city without taking 67% of the funding away from human services and other low-income services. This debate, unlike this article, is far from over.
To see DCFPI's report in full, click here.
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D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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