Schwarzenegger's Budget Cuts Force Closure of California AIDS Clearinghouse
Clearinghouse Served Hundreds of Community-Based Health Organizations Throughout California
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A casualty of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's draconian cuts in social service funding, the California AIDS Clearinghouse will close next week. The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which operated the program for more than 15 years, received notification from the state Office of AIDS that all funding for it had been eliminated.
The Clearinghouse employs seven people and serves hundreds of non-profit organizations in all of California's 61 health jurisdictions, including community clinics and HIV/AIDS organizations. Its mission is to develop and share culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials regarding HIV/AIDS and other STDs with community-based organizations throughout the state. Materials were produced in 14 languages to serve the diverse communities of California. The Clearinghouse also distributes more than 1.5 million condoms each year.
"Under the Center's management, the California AIDS Clearinghouse has become a model program for the development of innovative and culturally competent HIV and STD prevention materials," said Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. "At the same time, it reduces state expenses and maximizes efficiency by sharing educational materials and resources among all state-funded organizations.
"The governor went beyond the deal struck with the legislature and needlessly slashed $52 million more in HIV/AIDS dollars, including all state funding for HIV-prevention/education programs. His horribly short-sighted cuts turn back the clock on our progress in fighting HIV/AIDS and almost certainly will result in an increased HIV infection rate and greater demand for healthcare from organizations like the Center -- organizations that partially rely on government support to care for the most vulnerable among us. These cuts are penny-wise and pound-foolish and we'll all pay the price down the road."
The Center is joining other LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations throughout the state in urging the leaders of the California legislature to override the governor's line-item vetoes, which also included cuts in HIV/AIDS medical services, testing, counseling and much more.
About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us on the Web at: www.lagaycenter.org.
SOURCE L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
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