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Southern senators
battle for more Ryan White money

Southern senators
battle for more Ryan White money

Lawmakers say current Ryan White formulas hurt Southern states.

The battle for additional Ryan White funds between large states like New York, Illinois, and California and Southern states with rising numbers of HIV cases is continuing in Washington, with several Southern senators turning to the media in their effort to secure more federal AIDS funds, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The senators told reporters this week that the current Ryan White funding formulas favor cities with a population of more than 500,000 people and that have had at least 2,000 new AIDS cases diagnosed among residents during the past five years. Although HIV rates are rising in the South, few Southern cities meet these criteria and are losing out on federal funding, the senators told reporters.

They are pushing their fellow lawmakers to change the funding formulas during discussions to reauthorize the act so that more Southern cities will qualify for additional funding.

But lawmakers from New York and California as well as some AIDS advocates say large urban areas are still home to most of the nation's AIDS cases. They also say that the Southern lawmakers are ignoring such issues as quality of care and cost of living in their analysis of how Ryan White funds are allocated. If the funding formula is drastically changed, New York and California could each lose out on about $20 million annually in federal AIDS funding, which would severely hamper HIV treatment and support programs, they say.

The reauthorization bill is currently being studied by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. (The Advocate)

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