Listen to the community - Page 2

Obama and the feds make progress, but officials say more AIDS help is still needed
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Obama signs the Ryan White Extension Act

"But there is a real disconnect between what we know is effective and what the government wants to fund."

The federally funded Ryan White Program, which covers underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS, got $2.3 billion this fiscal year, a $54 million increase over last year. While the CDC has increased funds for HIV prevention by the same amount, many community-based organizations must rely on the San Francisco Department of Public Health to fund less traditional services.

In July of this year, SFDPH allocated $11.5 million for HIV prevention, with $5 million coming from city and state funds. Dr. Grant Colfax, director of HIV Prevention and Research at SFPDH, said community partnership is crucial when tackling the disease.

"We work closely with the community planning council and base our priorities on what communities want and need," he said. "But I really do think it's progressive to be able to hold ourselves accountable for the preventive methods we use. We do have to show it works."

"There are lots of different opportunities for funding, but we can't afford to fund everyone," said CDC spokesperson Nikki Kay. "Community-based organizations must apply competitively."

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