Disparities

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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

Mental Health Care May be Mandated in California, But Most Aren’t Getting Treated

17 percent of unmarried women with children report having mental health problems, according to a recent UCLA study. ((Photo: Getty Images)

17 percent of unmarried women with children report having mental health problems, according to a recent UCLA study. ((Photo: Getty Images)

More than two million adults in California say they need mental health care, but about half of them aren’t getting it, according to a report released Wednesday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

California mandates health insurance companies provide equal care for mental and physical health problems. But mental health services are often inadequate–or they don’t exist at all, says lead author David Grant.

One reason is when hospitals want to cut costs, mental health care is often the first to go. Grant notes that, just this morning, LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced it is cutting most of its psychiatric services.

“It’s a disaster,” Grant said about Cedars-Sinai’s closing. “Health care is undergoing so much change and it’s under so much financial stress right now. Providers are really looking for ways to reduce health care costs.”
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