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County supervisors reject AIDS funding cut

Los Angeles
County supervisors reject AIDS funding cut

Los Angeles County supervisors reject plan to cut AIDS spending by 5.2%

The Los Angeles County board of supervisors last week rejected cutting spending on HIV prevention and treatment programs in the county despite facing a loss of nearly $1.9 million in federal Ryan White AIDS grants to the region. Los Angeles County received $34.9 million for the year, down $1.9 million--or 5.2%--from last year's grant. County officials had initially proposed cutting grants to local AIDS organizations by a corresponding 5.2% to offset the loss of federal funds. But at last week's hearing on the proposed 2006-2007 county budget, supervisors approved a motion instructing the county Office of AIDS Programs and Policy to identify alternative funding sources to sustain current HIV prevention and treatment services in the county. A second motion temporarily suspended the 5.2% in funding cuts to local AIDS organizations while OAPP works to identify new sources of revenue.

"At a time when an estimated 1,800 new infections will occur in Los Angeles County each year--most of these in communities of color--it is simply unacceptable for OAPP to have proposed cutting services instead of first looking to streamline its own bureaucracy and administrative costs," says AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein in a press statement. "We thank the board for asking OAPP to identify alternative funding sources to make up for the $1.9 million shortfall rather than placing the burden on service agencies and, ultimately, on residents of Los Angeles County in need of these crucial HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services." (The Advocate)

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