- HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Nashville area not expected to be impacted by state’s decision to deny certain CDC prevention grants
- State officials declined to comment publicly on their decision to reject the CDC funding, saying only that it was in the state’s “best interest” to take over fiscal responsibility for prevention.
- Current CDC HIV/AIDS prevention grants will end on May 31st. The state has pledged to fill the void.
A spokesman for Nashville’s independent public health agency said Thursday that the state health department’s decision to deny some federal funding for HIV prevention likely won’t affect city-affiliated programs in Nashville or Davidson County.
Metro Nashville Public Health receives such federal funding through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, which is not expected to be affected by the state’s decision, said Metro Nashville Public Health spokesman Matthew Peters.
“The more I look, it seems like the impact will be more pronounced outside of the metropolitan area. It looks like the metropolitan health sector will be largely unaffected in this regard,” Peters said. “It looks like the brunt of the impact could be There will be repercussions beyond the Metro Health Department.”
In a story first reported by Business Appeal, the state notified agencies working on HIV prevention that it would stop accepting certain federal grants for this purpose after the close on May 31.
“The State has determined that it is in the best interests of Tennesseans that the State assume direct financial and administrative responsibility for these services,” the letter, dated January 17, stated. “New York State will provide support equivalent to federal funding.”
Governor Bill Lee’s office referred all questions regarding this matter to the State Department of Health. The department’s newly appointed commissioner, Ralph Alvarado, declined to comment through a spokesman.
Health Department spokesman Bill Christian also declined to answer questions about the decision, instead replying via email: “The letter speaks for itself in the communication: ‘…it is in the best interests of Tennesseans. The State bears a direct financial and managerial response to these services.‘”
All also declined to confirm the tax amounts involved.
Business Appeals reports that the grant was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the state, the CDC funds: “HIV counseling, testing and referral, HIV partner counseling and referral services, HIV health education and risk reduction programs, HIV prevention for positive individuals, public information programs, toll-free HIV/STD hotlines, capacity building programs and quality assurance and assessment components.”
Frank Gluck is a healthcare reporter in Tennessee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow him on Twitter @Frank Gluck.
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