As of February 29, Dallas County failed to sufficiently spend its funds allocated to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Ryan White is the largest provider of care and services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the US.
LOS ANGELES (March 14, 2016) AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest global HIV/AIDS organization, today criticized Dallas County, Texas officials for noticeably underspending federal funds appropriated to Ryan White CARE Act HIV/AIDS programs in the County.
First authorized in 1990, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS legislation created several programs to address the needs of various populations affected by HIV/AIDS across the U.S. Two of the larger programs under Ryan White are: Part A, which provides emergency assistance to areas that are most affected by HIV/AIDS, and Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI), which provides funding to evaluate and address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on African Americans and other minorities. As the 2015 Part A and MAI grants are currently in the 11th month of the billing cycle for Dallas County, both spending figures were expected to reach 91.67% to be on target. Through the eleventh month billing cycle, Dallas County expended just 78.51% of its Part A funding and only 88.71% of MAI funding.
“Part A grants fund a crucial continuum of care for HIV/AIDS patients, providing for services such as home health care, medical case management, and outpatient and ambulatory medical care,” said Bret Camp, Texas Regional Director for AHF. “There is clearly a tremendous need for HIV/AIDS medical care and services in the Dallas region. However, Dallas County officials spent just 65.13% of its 2015 Part A funding designated for such outpatient medical care and services, a figure that should have neared 100% by the end of February. County officials simply must do better managing these critical programs.”
“Dallas County absolutely cannot continue to withhold essential funds allocated to these lifesaving Ryan White programs while the need for HIV/AIDS services in Dallas—particularly in minority and other underserved communities—remains unmet,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
AHF expressed similar concerns about HIV/AIDS funding in Dallas County last year, when officials failed to approve their own review board recommendation of $1.1 million in grants for AHF under the Ryan White CARE Act. 7,500 HIV/AIDS-affected individuals were left without medical care and treatment as a result. Appropriate management of funds by Dallas County will help to decrease this number.