A cut in federal funding for AIDS programs could mean a decline in the quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS in Southwest Florida.
A five percent cut in federal AIDS funding goes into effect in two weeks. The five county area has been receiving 850 thousand dollars from the federal program for several years. The money is earmarked for services that enhance the quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS – including counseling and dental care. Dr. Peter Brite of the Island Coast Aids Network in Ft. Myers says the cut will leave gaps.
“We didn’t have enough to meet the needs to begin with and now we have five percent which is five percent less than what we had which is not enough so I mean – what we need is a substantial increase – not level funding or a decrease.”
More than 700 people in Lee County are HIV positive. And Brite says the number is growing because drug therapy is extending the lives of people with AIDS.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 01:00
AIDS Funding CutWritten by Valerie Alker