Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

January 14, 2013

Feds cut $200K from W.Va.'s HIV-AIDS program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Federal funding for West Virginia's HIV-AIDS program is dropping by more than $200,000 because of the state's low infection rate.

The Department of Health and Human Resources said Monday that combined with last year's reductions, the cuts total more than $617,000. The money is being redirected to states with higher incidence rates.

Public Health Commissioner Marian Swinker says the state will have to eliminate a $20 reimbursement for HIV specimen collection and counseling services.

Last year, that program gave 15 local health departments about $92,000.

Two years ago, 49 health departments received the reimbursement.

Swinker says the cut is no surprise.

Other federal funds will still cover the costs of lab testing by the Office of Laboratory Services. But HIV testing may not be available everywhere and on every day.

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