CDC official: Some HIV-prevention programs will lose funding under new guidelines
Rob Janssen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director of HIV prevention, said Thursday that the CDC's new HIV-prevention guidelines that call for more emphasis on prevention programs targeting HIV-positive people will likely result in a loss of funding for some groups providing traditional HIV-prevention services, the Los Angeles Times reports. Federal funding for prevention programs will experience a "substantial shift in priorities" next year, he said, with the changes finalized in the next three to six weeks and taking effect in July 2004. The prevention programs that will likely lose funding have not yet been identified, CDC officials said.
The CDC on Thursday announced new prevention guidelines that call for the widespread testing of Americans for HIV antibodies, routine testing for all pregnant women, greater use of a rapid-result HIV antibody test kits, and increased emphasis on prevention efforts that aim to encourage HIV-positive people to protect their sex partners. The CDC plans to allocate about $40 million toward these new initiatives, which would divert the same amount of money away from traditional HIV-prevention programs that encourage HIV-negative people to use condoms and injection-drug users to use clean needles. "Our prevention efforts have stalled, and we are not making the kinds of ongoing progress in reducing new cases that we would expect to be able to achieve," said CDC director Julie Gerberding in announcing the new prevention initiative.
But not all AIDS activists welcome the new CDC guidelines. Daniel Montoya, director of governmental affairs for AIDS Project Los Angeles, called the plan shortsighted because it backs away from encouraging HIV-negative people to protect themselves against HIV. "Unless you are doing comprehensive prevention, in terms of looking at people who are at risk and not just looking at those who are already infected, we may have another epidemic on our hands 10 years down the road," he said.