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Latino AIDS groups face huge funding cuts in San Francisco

Latino AIDS groups face huge funding cuts in San Francisco

Four San Francisco AIDS service organizations that work to raise HIV awareness and promote HIV prevention among Latinos are facing huge funding cuts because of ongoing financial shortfalls in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The groups--Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, Aguilas, and Proyecto Contra SIDA Por Vida--are losing nearly $1 million in city funding in fiscal 2005-2006. The groups received about $1.2 million in fiscal 2004-2005, but are slated to get just $240,000 in the next fiscal year. The agencies work with gay Latino men, new immigrants, Latino youths, injection-drug users, and Latino transgender people. City health officials say they hope to restore about $600,000 in city funding to the groups for HIV prevention programs, but that would still leave the agencies with steep funding shortfalls and likely force the groups to cut staff and programs. "It's devastating," Concepcion Saucedo, executive director of Instituto Familiar de la Raza, told the Chronicle. "It creates a scenario for more death. Our AIDS education and prevention team serves 4,000 clients. That would all be gone." Officials at the Latino organizations also say the city funding process was skewed toward AIDS organizations that hired professional grant writers and that the city did not take into account the history of success the four groups have had in reaching out to the city's Latino population.

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