HOUSING AUTHORITY: Seeks Federal Funds for LA HIV Patients
HIV-positive women and minorities in Los Angeles will receive help with their rent if the Housing Authority's effort to secure $8.3 million in federal housing subsidies clears the Los Angeles City Council. Ferd Eggan, director of AIDS programs for Los Angeles, made the announcement Monday at the four-day 1999 National Conference on Women and HIV/AIDS held in Los Angeles through yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The "unprecedented gathering" brought together 1,000 women with AIDS, the "largest such gathering ever." Eggan's announcement came weeks after a stinging Los Angeles Times article reported "that the city was sitting on $17 million while African-American and Latino communities are being hit hard by an AIDS epidemic that has created, among other problems, a shortage of housing for HIV-positive patients." Eggan said that the $8.3 million has already been earmarked to offset the rental subsidies for HIV-positive residents and that it would "use up all the funds we were accused of hoarding." He added that "because of the pattern in the way the disease is spreading, that means it will be going entirely to communities of color and women." Wanda Jones, deputy assistant secretary for health in the Clinton administration, told conferees Monday that in the wake of a $150 million allocation earlier this year, the administration would like to see an even greater infusion of federal funds for AIDS programs targeting Latino and African-American women. Jones said, "There is still a notion that it is a men's problem -- a gay men's epidemic. It's very clear, especially when we look at the HIV data, that in many communities, particular among young people, the cases are almost evenly distributed between men and women" (Shuit, 10/12).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.