Cleveland City Council Member Advocates Moving Federal HIV Funds from Health Department to Public-Private Organization
Cleveland City Council member Joe Cimperman is lobbying to move a $1 million federal grant to fight HIV/AIDS from the city Health Department to the AIDS Funding Collaborative, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. As a public-private enterprise, the collaborative is supported by city and county agencies and local private foundations. The Plain Dealer reports that Cimperman began advocating for the switch after learning that the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, the region's largest provider of AIDS-related services, received $26,000 from the city, half of the amount it requested. The task force plans to use the funding to reduce infection rates among gay black men. Natalia Martinovic, a spokesperson for Mayor Michael White, said that the health department will "set aside" an additional $100,000 from its general fund to reduce HIV infection among bisexual and gay men. Victor Gelb, a founding member of the collaborative, said that moving the funds under the collaborative's control would "take the politics" out of the appropriations process. Since federal funding became available three years ago, the Plain Dealer reports that AIDS activists have "questioned" the city's priorities in providing funding, as last year less than 2% of the money funded programs for gays, who are the majority of the HIV-positive people in the area (McEnery, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/28).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.