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Boston set to
lose $312,000 in Ryan White funds

Boston set to
lose $312,000 in Ryan White funds

Ryan White cut comes before new funding guidelines could reduce grants even further.

HIV service providers in the greater Boston and southern New Hampshire region are set to lose nearly $312,000 in federal Ryan White CARE Act funding this year, marking the second consecutive year federal AIDS funding to the area has been cut, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. Last year, BPHC had its federal AIDS funds cut by almost $1.2 million, said commission officials. Ryan White funds are allocated to more than 125 service organizations that provide care and support to nearly 7,000 HIV-positive Boston-area residents.

"Every day people still die of AIDS, and others become newly infected," said Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino in a BPHC press statement. "We need to recognize that thousands of people have come to depend on these services to stay healthy. This funding is crucial for urban areas fighting the AIDS epidemic."

John Auerback, BPHC executive director, said the Ryan White cuts will hurt the most vulnerable Boston-area HIVers. "However, these cuts will pale in comparison to losses we will face if the proposed changes to the CARE Act are approved at the federal level."

A proposed restructuring of Ryan White funding would change the way federal AIDS relief is allocated. Instead of issuing grants to regions that have the highest number of cumulative AIDS cases since the beginning of the pandemic, funds would be divvied up based on how many HIV patients currently live in a particular area. The revised funding criteria also would include a redrawing of geographic funding regions, with an emphasis on treatment programs. The changes could result in a cut of nearly $9 million in Ryan White funds to the Boston area.

"The CARE Act has worked well in Boston and Massachusetts," said Auerback in a press statement. "We are urging Congress not to undo years of hard work by disinvesting in cities. The proposed changes will push the burden back on the state to preserve the system of care that keeps people healthy and alive." (

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