Los Angeles County will receive $15 million from the federal government in 2012 to fight the spread of AIDS – and this year, the money comes with more strings attached.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the 2012 funding amounts this week. Every state and U.S. territory will get some of the total $358.8 million allocation, “to ensure that even areas with a low burden of HIV can continue basic prevention activities.”
Los Angeles County doens’t fall into that category. It’s one of eight cities and counties in the nation with such a high concentration of HIV patients that it’s being funded separately, on top of the money allocated to states. One other jurisdiction in California will also receive a separate allocation – the city and county of San Francisco, which will get $7.7 million.
California itself will receive only slightly more than Los Angeles County – $16.8 million.
The other separately funded cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Huston, New York and Philadelphia. All but Atlanta and Baltimore received separate funding in the past.
This year marks the beginning of a five-year funding cycle for HIV prevention. The funding is divided into two categories: Category A, for core HIV prevention activities, and Category B, for jurisdictions with more than 3,000 blacks and Latinos living with HIV, in order to expand their access to HIV testing services.
Of the $15 million allocated to Los Angeles County, $12.5 million is Category A funding and $2.5 million is Category B funding.
For the first time, the CDC is requiring that agencies spend their Category A funding in particular ways.
At least 75 percent of Category A funding must be spent on HIV testing (including opt-out testing in health care settings and targeted programs for at-risk populations); prevention with HIV-positive individuals (to reduce their risk of spreading HIV to others); condom distribution for people at high risk of acquiring HIV; and “structural initiatives” (realigning policies and regulations to foster prevention and treatment).
The remaining 25 percent can be spent on “other recommended activities that can also have a major impact on the epidemic, including interventions for at-risk populations, social marketing efforts, pre-exposure prophylaxis for men who have sex with men, and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis for high-risk individuals.”
The Category B funding expands on the CDC’s testing program for disproportionately affected populations. Of the 2.8 million HIV tests administered over a three-year period, 76 percent were administered to blacks and Latinos, according to the CDC.
In March the CDC will announce how it will spend another $20 million for demonstration projects of innovative HIV prevention techniques.