AIDS Foundation Files Amended Lawsuit Against Los Angeles County Office of AIDS
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed an amended lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy, alleging that it did not appropriately use public funds and that department officials were involved in conflicts of interest, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The lawsuit also alleges that the office attempted to prevent criticism from AHF by trying to close its AIDS hospice.
AHF attorney Katy Robison has alleged that the office has not accounted for $80 million in public funds.
In addition, Robison accused former OAPP Director Charles Henry of being involved in a conflict of interest because he served as a paid member of the West Hollywood Human Services Commission -- which makes funding recommendations for HIV-related programs -- while increasing funding for AIDS programs in that area. Robison said Henry's actions resulted in misappropriation of funds by allocating them to West Hollywood rather than other areas where census data "indicated there were more people with HIV who needed treatment."
Public Health Chief of Operations John Schunhoff denied allegations of the missing funds, saying, "It had to do with how detailed they were keeping track of dividing up expenditures" between different areas. The county is preparing a response to the new allegations, Schunhoff said (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 1/7).
The San Francisco Chronicle on Monday examined partner notification programs, which are "re-emerging as an important tool in AIDS prevention."
Such programs concentrate on people "most likely to have previously undetected infections," while protecting the identity of those who voluntarily disclose information about their previous sexual partners.
However, it can be difficult to persuade a newly diagnosed HIV-positive person to provide such information, and brief and anonymous sexual encounters make partner notification impossible, the Chronicle reports (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9).