Washington, D.C., AIDS Organizations Lose Grants Due to Shift in CDC Prevention Focus
Several Washington, D.C.-area HIV/AIDS organizations have lost funding for HIV prevention measures among young people as a result of a shift in CDC's HIV/AIDS prevention strategy from programs targeting people who are at high risk of contracting HIV to those that focus on identifying people who already have the disease, the Washington Post reports (Levin Becker, Washington Post, 7/19). CDC in April 2003 announced the new strategy, saying that annual increases in the number of new HIV cases nationwide show that the previous emphasis on community outreach prevention programs has proven ineffective (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/24). Metro TeenAIDS, the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry, the National Organization of Concerned Black Men and the Sasha Bruce Youthwork Agency in the Washington, D.C.-area lost funding for HIV prevention programs among young people as a result of the shift. Advocates fear that the funding losses, which total nearly $1 million, could lead to higher HIV prevalence among young people in the region, where the rate of sexual activity among teens is nearly a third higher than the national average, the Post reports. Robert Janssen, director of CDC's HIV prevention program, said that because the disease is "very much a disease of people in their twenties, thirties and forties," money should be concentrated on those age groups. However, Metro TeenAIDS Executive Director Adam Tenner said that the high rates of sexual activity among young people in the region and the area's high HIV incidence puts young people at a high risk of contracting HIV (Washington Post, 7/19).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.