Federal Funding to Bay Area HIV/AIDS Programs Reduced
The San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday examined Bay Area officials' reaction to reduced federal grants for programs that serve people with HIV/AIDS. Under the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, San Francisco will receive $4 million less in federal grants in 2004 than it did in 2003, a drop of 12%, while Oakland and San Jose will receive reductions of 5.9% and 5.1%, respectively (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/4). HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Monday announced the grants (California Healthline, 3/2). James Loyce, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said that the funding reductions would affect "the kinds of services that keep people out of the hospitals and emergency rooms," such as meal programs, substance abuse treatment and alternative health care. He said that the effects of the funding cuts would begin to be noticed in two months. "It makes a bad situation worse," San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin said, adding, "People are going to get hurt." Loyce said that his agency would seek assistance from San Francisco's congressional representatives, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
The grant amounts are based on a "complicated" allocation formula related to the number of HIV and AIDS cases in a metropolitan area and on the quality of the funding application relative to other metropolitan areas' applications, the Chronicle reports. Douglas Morgan, a division director at HHS, said that the federal review panel that judges the applications may have found other cities' applications to be superior, adding that a report detailing the "strengths and weaknesses" of the San Francisco application would be sent to the city in coming weeks (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.