HIV Education Services Contract Renewed
Merced County supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to renew a $40,000 contract with a Fresno-based Planned Parenthood clinic to provide no-cost HIV tests and counseling for HIV-positive residents, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
The funding will allow Planned Parenthood workers to visits jails, drug-treatment centers and bars to talk with men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers and illicit drug users about HIV/AIDS.
Abortion rights opponents criticized the contract, saying county money should not be used to fund abortions. Supervisors and Planned Parenthood officials said the money will not be used for abortions.
Supervisor Mike Nelson called for an analysis to be conducted next year that shows how much it would cost the county to run the program on its own.
Patsy Montgomery, regional spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, said it costs the organization about $60,000 annually to provide the education services, with the county contract covering only part of that amount (Collins, Merced Sun-Star, 7/12).