$6 million in AIDS funding provided by San Francisco to offset federal cuts 

Mayor Ed Lee announced Thursday that The City will restore $6.6 million in federal funding to preserve primary care and critical support services and programs for San Franciscans living with HIV/AIDS.

Programs and services funded by the federal Ryan White Care Act or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been expected to lose about 15 percent of their total federal HIV/AIDS budget for the fiscal year, according to the Department of Public Health.

The mayor  announced the funding after meeting with service providers and community groups.

“Our city will continue to be a model for the rest of the nation,” Lee said, adding that The City would work with those local groups “to build greater efficiencies in providing services” to protect against future federal cuts.

Another $8.1 million in federal funding is expected to be cut in fiscal year 2013-14.

Lee’s effort was hailed by Mike Smith, president of the San Francisco HIV/AIDS Provider Network, who said the federal cuts “would have destabilized San Francisco’s nationally recognized system of care and prevention.”

“In this time of decreasing state and federal funding, his action today reaffirms our city’s long-standing commitment to people with HIV/AIDS,” Smith said.

There are 15,523 people living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco, according to the Department of Public Health. Nearly 20,000 San Franciscans have died from the disease.

The funding will go toward hospices, treatment adherence, case management and housing, and local monitoring, research and prevention programs.

“I represent many people living with HIV or at risk for it,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener. “This funding will save lives and prevent new infections.”

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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