Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH)—an unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy separate and distinct from the Cuyahoga County government—has turned its back on people with HIV/AIDS and the safety net providers who care for them, jeopardizing lifesaving care and services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Cleveland & Cuyahoga County.
On Wednesday & Thursday of this week, AIDS and community advocates will rally and call on County officials to end the Board of Health’s bureaucratic bumbling on Ryan White CARE Act funding and bring back accountability to the community.
CLEVELAND (February 11, 2015) In back-to-back rallies, protests and testimony at public meetings, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (ATGC) and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) as well as other local Cuyahoga AIDS and community groups will call on Cuyahoga County government officials to take back administration of Ryan White Care ACT AIDS funding in the County. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH)—an unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy that shockingly does not answer to the Cuyahoga County government—has turned its back on people with HIV/AIDS and the safety net providers who care for them.
RALLY, PROTESTS & COMMUNITY TESTIMONY calling on Cuyahoga County government
official to take back Ryan White CARE Act funding from the Cuyahoga Board of Health.
Thursday, February 12 9:00 AM
Office of The County Executive, 2079 East Ninth Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Tracy Jones, Chief Executive Officer, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
Garith Fulham, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, and 30 to 40 additional AIDS advocates and protesters
Garith Fulham, Director, Public Policy & Advocacy, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland,
+1.216.357.3131 x249 (office) / +18.104.22.16824 (mobile) [email protected]
“The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act—known as the CARE Act—is the nation’s premier AIDS program that is the principle source of funding for AIDS care and services nationwide,” said Tracy Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. “As a result of the Cuyahoga Board of Health’s turning its back on people with HIV/AIDS and the safety net providers who care for them, lifesaving care and services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Cleveland & Cuyahoga County are in serious jeopardy. This Thursday, we will rally, protest and testify, calling on Cuyahoga County government–which is accountable and responsive to the needs of County residents—to end the Board of Health’s bureaucratic failures and take back Ryan White CARE Act funding and bring back accountability to the community!”
HIV/AIDS in Ohio
According to a report from Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, approximately 10,000 Ohioans are currently living with HIV, and another 8,600 individuals are living with AIDS. However, these numbers only account for people who are aware of their HIV/AIDS status, and national estimates project 20% of people living with HIV/AIDS have not been tested and are unaware of their status. According to an HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program conducted by the Ohio Department of Health, men were consistently diagnosed at a far higher rate than women between 2007 and 2011 (about 78% men to 22% women).
Consistent with national statistics, HIV/AIDS incidence was highest in Ohio’s African American population, which accounted for over 5% of new diagnoses for each of the five years tracked in the Department of Health report. Rates in the African American community have been slowly but consistently rising since 2007. Also on the rise are rates among youth aged 13-14, particularly among 20-24 year olds, who went from accounting for 1% of new diagnoses in 2007 to 4% in 2011, Though the highest incidence by age was among people aged 45-64, those age groups showed a slow but steady decline in new diagnoses over the years studied, a trend that can only be mirrored in the younger demographics through an increase in prevention education.
# # #
About AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (ATGC) is a community-focused nonprofit HIV/AIDS Service Organization (ASO) that offers a comprehensive continuum of non-medical HIV/AIDS services in Cuyahoga and five surrounding communities. As Greater Cleveland’s oldest and leading ASO, the Taskforce provides vital “safety net” support services and prevention education for those at greatest risk. It also leads public policy initiatives, ensuring equal rights and opportunities for people living with and disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and their families are directly served by Taskforce support services, and many thousand more are served through prevention and advocacy initiatives. The Taskforce’s mission is “To provide a compassionate and collaborative response to the needs of people infected with, affected by, and at risk of HIV/AIDS. This is accomplished through leadership in prevention, supportive services, and advocacy.” Donations and volunteers are always needed and appreciated. www.aidstaskforce.org.