The federal government's redrawing of statistical districts could cost three New Jersey counties as much as $5 million in federal AIDS dollars, the Bergen Record reports. After the last census, the Office of Management and Budget moved New Jersey's Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson counties into the greater New York City statistical area. Whereas the counties received Ryan White AIDS funding separately in the past, they now will be considered part of the greater New York City area and will get federal AIDS money from the larger pool allocated to the city. That move could cost AIDS organizations in the New Jersey counties up to $5 million in federal funding, AIDS activists say. They also worry that lumping county funding into the pool shared by New York City may ultimately hurt the agencies' bottom lines even more if groups in the city are given funding priority over suburban organizations.
"Statistically, New Jersey is beginning to be wiped off the map," Karen Walker, director of HIV services at the Paterson Counseling Center in Paterson, N.J., told the Record. She says that by lumping the three North Jersey counties into the statistical area that includes New York City, 25% of the state's HIV-positive people will be "under the control and the whims of New York City." But New York AIDS officials say the New Jersey groups will continue to receive their share of AIDS funding and will have a voice in how all Ryan White dollars are allocated in the region.