Funding problems result in HIV waiting lists in Florida
Growing numbers of HIV cases in Florida coupled with stagnant or only modest increases in federal funding for HIV/AIDS services are leading to waiting lists for several services, including medical care and counseling, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. AIDS advocates say the waiting lists for some services in three South Florida counties are the longest they've ever been. HIV rates are also rising in the region. In 2002, HIV prevalence rates rose 44% in Palm Beach County, 30% in Broward County, and 18% in Miami-Dade County. But federal funding has not matched the increasing number of infections. Broward County received 1% less in federal Ryan White funds in 2002 than in 2001. Funding also fell slightly in Miami-Dade County and rose by about 7% in Palm Beach County. AIDS activists in the region expect funding to remain level or to even decrease slightly in 2004 based on HIV/AIDS funding requests in President Bush's 2004 federal budget proposal.