Mass. faces cuts in HIV, AIDS programs

Aug. 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM
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BOSTON, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Boston officials say they fear a rise in HIV infections as cuts in federal spending force them to eliminate or reduce HIV and AIDS prevention services.

City officials said those programs were responsible for driving human immunodeficiency virus infection rates down by 50 percent in the last decade.

Community health agencies have been told to expect a $4.3 million reduction, almost one-quarter of the state's annual AIDS prevention budget, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

Kevin Cranston, director of the state Bureau of Infectious Disease, said he is concerned the cuts will mean new infections in high-risk populations.

"Well-trained staff in the field, good information, as well as direct services for HIV-negative and positive people, together, have given us the success this past decade," he said. "I would hate to see a resurgence of HIV in Massachusetts after being so successful this decade."

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