Baltimore mayor declares AIDS "state of emergency"
Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley on Monday declared a "state of emergency" in the fight against AIDS in the city and announced the creation of a standing commission of public officials and people from the private sector to monitor the spread of HIV in Baltimore and the success of city programs in combating it, the Baltimore Sun reports. City health commissioner Peter Beilenson, speaking at a press conference, said the city also plans to spend more on HIV prevention and treatment efforts but did not specify to what extent additional city funds would be allocated. O'Malley's declaration followed months of lobbying by city HIV/AIDS organizations and by a panel of experts convened by the Baltimore city council last year to boost city spending on HIV/AIDS programs. About 12,000 people in Baltimore are infected with HIV, one of the highest incidence levels in the nation. About 85% of those with HIV or AIDS in Baltimore are African-American.