Federal Plan Could Cut HIV/AIDS Funding
California could lose million of dollars in federal funding for HIV/AIDS programs under a bill that would provide more funding to rural and Southern states, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The bill, which "is expected to have bipartisan support" in the Senate and House, would renew and revise the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, according to the Times. Among the changes, programs would be required to spend 75% of federal funding on "core medical services" for people who have HIV/AIDS.
California officials have said they are concerned that funding for necessary nonmedical services -- such as food, temporary housing for the homeless, transportation and case managers to help organize medical and social services -- could be reduced under the legislation. Some counties spend up to half of their federal HIV/AIDS funding on nonmedical services.
However, Michael Montgomery, chief of the state Office of AIDS, said the funding losses might be offset by a provision of the bill that would remove a formula that undercounted state AIDS cases by predicting deaths earlier than they occur.
Counties that have reported declining annual rates of new AIDS cases are the most likely to lose federal funding, local officials said.
Donna Fleming, Orange County disease control manager, said the legislation could reduce Orange County's direct federal funding to $1 million within five years, from the current $4.8 million the county receives annually.
Meanwhile, the Sacramento region eventually could lose all of its eligibility for direct funding, according to Adrienne Rogers, coordinator of Ryan White programs in the area. The region currently receives about $3 million in direct federal funding annually.
San Francisco also could lose a quarter of the $28 million it receives annually in federal funding because of a provision in the bill that would phase out limits on how much funding a region could lose each year (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 5/29).