By Tara Cavanaugh
Michigan’s AIDS organizations are preparing for a huge cut in a national funding source as the disease increasingly affects minority populations.
In July, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention alerted Michigan AIDS organizations that they should prepare for large cuts during the 2012-2016 fiscal years.
For fiscal year 2012, Michigan will lose up to $1.2 million for “core” HIV prevention activities. The loss increases to $2.1 million by fiscal year 2014 as the CDC fully implements a new formula for determining state financial awards.
CDC “core” funding is the primary source of money supporting HIV testing in local health departments, partner services, health education and risk reduction.
Michigan will also lose up to $883,000 of the CDC money that supports HIV testing in health care settings for fiscal year 2012. That figure represents 35 percent of state organizations’ current allotment for HIV testing in STD clinics, emergency departments, community health care centers and prisons.
The CDC released additional troubling news last week with an analysis that showed that HIV infection rates are stable overall – but increasing in minority populations of men who have sex with men.
“That’s the same thing that’s happening in our state, particularly with African-American men who have sex with men,” said Hank Milbourne, associate executive director and executive director of prevention services at AIDS Partnership Michigan.
“We are seeing, and we have been seeing since 2006, increasingly among African American MSMs between 13 and 24, increasing rates while all the other age groups remain relatively stable.”
Milbourne couldn’t pinpoint particular services that would be affected by the decrease in CDC money during the next four fiscal years. “But what it will mean is reduced services for those most impacted populations,” he said. “It can’t mean anything else but that.
“I think we’re doing good work. I think we’re on the right track. I’d hate to see us lose the momentum that we have.”