Bowing to pressure from AIDS activists and health care experts, Chicago mayor Richard Daley will increase city HIV/AIDS spending to combat the epidemic among Chicago's minority communities, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The mayor's proposed 2004 budget includes $3.7 million for HIV prevention and care, an increase of $100,000 over 2003 funding levels. AIDS activists had requested an increase of $1 million in funding to improve HIV prevention programs targeting gay men, African-Americans, and Latinos. A Daley spokesman said the mayor may include more funds in a second round of amendments to his $4.8 billion budget proposal later this month.
"This is a significant issue," said city budget director Bill Abolt. "There's clear broad-based support within the council, and we want to accommodate their concerns. We want to make sure that the budget addresses the issues they see in the community."