Originally published on Advocate.com March 19 2004 1:00 AM ET
Federal Ryan White AIDS funding to the Houston area was reduced by 6.8% for fiscal 2004, a loss that will likely result in widespread cuts to services at local AIDS organizations, the Houston Voice reports. "We've been preparing for [the funding cut]," Katy Caldwell, executive director of the Montrose Clinic, told the Voice. "We've made some staff reductions, and we're not replacing certain vacant positions. It feels awful when you have to say to someone who needs services, 'Come back in a month.' " Houston's Ryan White Planning Council, which distributes the federal grant to local agencies, will cut funding to the Montrose Clinic by 7% in 2004. The region's Assistance Fund, which helps low-income HIV-positive people pay for anti-HIV medications, will receive a 3% funding reduction. "This is the worst I've ever seen coming down from Washington," Ken Malone of the Assistance Fund told the Voice. "At some point there will have to be a consolidation of service agencies."