Philadelphia Gay News (02.16.12) - Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Gov. Tom Corbett's recent proposed $27.1 billion state budget
includes mostly level funding for HIV/AIDS, with $7.1 million
that would be maintained for programs under the state
Department of Health (DOH). Funding for the disease, which was
cut 25 percent two years ago, covers a comprehensive statewide
HIV prevention program that includes community planning,
testing and referral services, education, and risk-reduction
"We are grateful that after previous cuts, our funding in this
area was not cut this year," said Jane Shull, executive
director of the HIV/AIDS service organization Philadelphia
"We are confident that the proposed state budget, which
maintains funding from last year, will not lead to any
reduction in services provided through our HIV/AIDS programs,"
said Christine Cronkright, DOH's director of communications.
The funds will be distributed in accordance with the National
HIV/AIDS Strategy and CDC guidance on high-impact
interventions, she said.
State funding for STD screening and treatment would drop 5
percent under Corbett's proposal, from $1.82 million to $1.73
million. State universities would take a 20 percent to 30
percent cut, on top of drastic cuts they saw in the last
budget. Kevin Burns, executive director of Philadelphia-based
Action AIDS, said HIV/AIDS funding could still take a hit as
legislators negotiate a lesser cut to education.
"It sets up this scenario where you have all of these systems
in the state that are starved for money and, while they should
all be fully funded, all of these worthwhile programs end up
fighting over a small piece of the pie," Burns said.