December 21, 2009
The number of HIV and STD diagnoses among Seattle men who have sex with men (MSM) has increased through most of this decade, despite ongoing outreach and awareness programs, officials say. An anticipated 70 percent cut in state HIV/AIDS funding has King County health authorities worrying that prevention and treatment efforts will be constrained.
King County has been receiving about $3 million each year in state HIV prevention funding. However, Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed cutting this sum by more than $2 million to help close a predicted $2.6 billion state budget deficit for 2010, said Dr. Bob Wood, director of HIV/AIDS control for Public Health -- Seattle & King County.
"We're kind of wondering whether we'll be able to do even what we're mandated to do by the law," Wood told a recent Board of Health meeting.
"We've got a problem with risk behavior continuing to occur despite all of the efforts that we've put into it," Wood said. The county's current campaign urges gay men to get tested for HIV more frequently, he noted.
Seattle Post Intelligencer
12.14.2009; Chris Grygiel
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