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Boston loses $1.1 million in Ryan White Act funds

Boston loses $1.1 million in Ryan White Act funds

Boston is set to receive a $1.1 million cut in federal Ryan White Act AIDS funding this year, forcing at least 10 AIDS programs in the city to be eliminated and others to scale back services, The Boston Globe reports. The city received $14.8 million in 2004, but a complex funding formula reduced the area's 2005 grant to $13.7 million. The cut is the largest ever for the Boston area since the federal Ryan White program began in 1990. Among some of the programs to be eliminated are day care, respite care, and herbal and acupuncture therapy, say city health officials. Scaled-back programs will include those offering primary health care, case management, mental health care, and food and nutrition services. Boston mayor Thomas Menino, speaking at the offices of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, called the cuts "devastating" and said, "The federal and state government are sending a dangerous message. By continually cutting AIDS funding, they're telling the people that the fight against AIDS is over. It is not over." City health officials say that more than 4,500 HIV-positive people live in Boston; a total of 16,000 HIV-positive people live in Massachusetts.

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