Phil Reese

Governor Quinn saves most of Illinois AIDS/HIV budget

Filed By Phil Reese | August 12, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: AFC, Budget, Chicago, economic policy, HIV positive, HIV/AIDS, Illinois, Mark Ishaug, pat quinn

According to the Windy City Times, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and other AIDS/HIV programs around Illinois have a lot to be thankful for this week.

While other states are cutting their AIDS/HIV funding to the bone, Illinois will not be so pressed. Though there will be no increases in funding this year, and though the state was facing a 50% cut in the budget, Governor Pat Quinn stepped in and replaced most of the funds, maintaining 97.4% funding with $17 Million out of his discretionary fund.

"The governor's decision ensures that HIV prevention and care services for people living with and at risk of HIV will continue largely uninterrupted," said AIDS Foundation of Chicago President/CEO Mark Ishaug in that Windy City Times article.

The news comes as a relief as statistics mark Chicago with one of the highest infection rates in the nation. Maintaining funding at a decent level will allow programs to continue trying to counter the rise in infection and curtail new cases, as well as help those who are discovering they are infected. Governor Quinn--thank you!

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | August 13, 2009 6:01 AM

Phil, for all the guff my old home town Chicago takes for even being part of Illinois they do a number of things better than either coast.

Even disgraced Blogo did something very right when he began purchase of drugs for state use from Canadian suppliers. Shrub supporters threatened a lawsuit against the state for this.

Now, when you say highest infection rate in the nation I do have to ask a question. How could just 17 million cover this? I mean just the drugs cost a fortune.

Hey, what's wrong with the rest of the state? :-) You know I'm a downstater, right?

I'm really proud of my state right now, of course, but you bring up a good point. While they're maintaining the funding--which is better than most states--they are really going to have to INCREASE IT to help counter the rise in infection levels, especially in the city of Chicago, where 2/3 of the cases in the state are.

We are facing a serious problem right now--new infection rates are on the rise in this nation, especially in communities of color. We need to pour all of the money we can into prevention. TOSS OUT ABSTINENCE ONLY SEX-ED! PLEASE! BRING BACK FREE CONDOMS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND COMMUNITY CENTERS, AND MAKE THEM THE GOOD ONES! A rise in infection rates is going to mean a rise in treatment costs down the line. Prevention is the best medicine, we know that. Let's not be stupid here, folks, we need to get SMART again!

New information on this coming in today... stay tuned.