Tennessee says it’s cutting federal HIV funding. Will other states follow?

Premium Subscriptions

Tennessee says it is chopping federal HIV funding. Will different states comply with?

Tennessee well being officers say they are going to reject federal funding for teams that present providers to residents dwelling with HIV.

Earlier this week, the Tennessee Division of Well being introduced that it might not settle for Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention grants for HIV testing, prevention and therapy.

In an e-mail reviewed by NBC Information, the Division of Well being instructed some nonprofits that present these providers that the state would withhold federal funding starting in June, relying solely on funds from the state thereafter. “It’s within the curiosity of Tennesseans that the state assume a direct monetary and managerial response for these providers,” the e-mail learn.

When contacted by NBC Information, a Division of Well being spokesperson mentioned “the letter speaks for itself.”

An estimated 20,000 folks in Tennessee live with HIV, though not all are affected by the cuts. There was no additional indication of how the state deliberate to fund these applications itself.

This resolution shocked HIV specialists.

“I do not perceive why the state would return funds supposed for well being care,” mentioned Diane Duke, president and CEO of Mates for Life, a Memphis-based group that gives providers to folks dwelling with HIV. Mates for Life was among the many teams that acquired a discover from the state. “It is outrageous,” she mentioned.

Shelby County, the place Memphis is situated, is among the many counties within the nation with the best charges of HIV and AIDS. In 2020, 819 of Shelby County’s 100,000 residents had been HIV-positive, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

And people had been simply the individuals who had acquired an official analysis.

“Lots of people are strolling round with HIV, and so they do not even understand it,” Duke mentioned. Offering virus testing is a crucial a part of the work finished by Mates for Life. “As soon as somebody has examined constructive, we’re in a position to handle them instantly,” she mentioned.

Greg Millett, director of public coverage at advocacy group amfAR, the Basis for AIDS Analysis, known as the choice “devastating”. He fears Tennessee well being officers are setting a harmful precedent.

“If different states comply with go well with,” Millett mentioned, “we’ll be in bother.”

Millet mentioned the CDC is offering Tennessee with as much as $10 million in HIV funding. It is nonetheless unclear how a lot of that cash might be denied.

He mentioned he feared the state directive might result in discrimination in opposition to marginalized teams most liable to contracting HIV.

“The overwhelming majority of latest HIV instances are amongst homosexual and bisexual males, transgender populations, heterosexual ladies, in addition to individuals who inject medication,” he mentioned.

“Now we have the instruments to finish the HIV/AIDS epidemic when it comes to prevention and care,” mentioned Millett. “If Tennessee does not use these instruments, does not use CDC funding, and does not concentrate on teams most in danger for HIV, we’ve the opportunity of an epidemic.”

The CDC gives tens of millions of {dollars} every year to states for HIV check kits, condoms and medicines to stop an infection, known as PrEP.

In a press release offered to NBC Information on Friday, the CDC mentioned it was unaware that Tennessee — or another state — deliberate to cease accepting grant cash.

“Now we have not acquired any official notification from the Tennessee Division of Well being withdrawing CDC HIV prevention funding,” the CDC mentioned. With out such discover, the CDC will robotically proceed funds to the state.

The federal company additionally mentioned it might “actually be involved if the providers that Tennessee residents want to remain wholesome had been interrupted or if public well being’s skill to reply to HIV epidemics and finish the this epidemic was hampered”.

Observe BNC HEALTH to Twitter & Fb.


Back to list

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *