African American and AIDS

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Is AIDS Still A Critical Concern to the Gay Community?

Private AIDS funding drops, while new HIV infections among African American men rise dramatically. (Mark Ralston: AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers, doctors, advocates and general attendees at this year’s International AIDS Conference were awash in enthusiasm that a cure to the AIDS epidemic is actually within reach, largely due to advances in treatments and improved prevention.

But to actually reach the cure takes money. And right at this moment, private funding is down.

Dramatically.

Funders Concerned About AIDS, a philanthropy dedicated to ensuring the end of the epidemic, says both the number of grants from private foundations and actual dollars given have dropped by about one-third.

While the new infections are among people at the intersection of race and poverty, the traditional funders of HIV/AIDS … look around at their friends and may get the sense AIDS is “solved.”

At first blush, it would seem that a down economy would be a big driver, but Daniel Tietz, Executive Director of the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), sees something else at work. He spoke with KQED’s Rachael Myrow on The California Report Friday morning and said that the downturn in funding predated the downturn in the economy. Continue reading