Fulton County, Ga., budget cuts could affect AIDS services
A proposed $28 million budget cut to the Fulton County, Ga., Department of Health and Wellness could result in drastic cuts to HIV/AIDS services in the county, including the loss of four jobs in the county's HIV/AIDS program and longer waits for clients seeking HIV testing and counseling, the Southern Voice reports. AIDS services would lose $1.4 million in funding if the budget cut is approved. The Fulton County Commission proposed the spending cuts to maintain a balanced 2004 budget that did not include any tax increases. The county Department of Human Services also faces a budget cut that could affect AIDS service organizations in the region, which includes the city of Atlanta. Officials with AIDS service groups say that if the budget cuts are approved, they may have to curtail services or begin charging for programs that had been offered for free. A final public hearing on the proposed budget was scheduled for Wednesday, with a final decision expected by the county commission by the end of the month.