Arizona Hispanic Group Decides To End HIV/AIDS Services

Armen Hareyan's picture

Arizona-basedChicanos Por La Causa has decided to stop providingHIV/AIDS services to Hispanics through the Ryan WhiteProgram, leavinglocal officials "scrambling" to find another Hispanic group to takeover the services, the Arizona Republic reports. The group has providedsuch HIV/AIDS services as case management and behavioral health and nutritionprograms.

It received $284,992 in Ryan White funding this fiscal year, an increase overthe $256,908 it had received in the previous fiscal year, the Republicreports. However, Edmundo Hidalgo,CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, said the group stood to lose $45,000 if itcontinued its HIV/AIDS services through the end of the fiscal year. He added,"We're disappointed that we're not able to continue the program.Obviously, there was a lot of hurt. There were a lot of clients that were veryupset, very disappointed. But you have to do an evaluation and determine theviability of a program and services. This was the best decision for CPLC."


The group's caseload ranged from 50 to 100 clients, who will temporarily beshifted to other local agencies for services when the Chicanos Por La Causacontract ends in February.

According to the Republic, Maricopa and Pinal counties received$6.8 million in Ryan White funds this fiscal year to distribute to localgroups. The allocation is up from the $6.5 million the counties received lastfiscal year, and the increase is partly because of the increased number ofminorities in the area with HIV/AIDS. Hispanics represent 23% of Arizona's known HIV/AIDScases, the Republic reports.

Shawn Nau, director of general government for Maricopa County,said, "Culturally, there is such a stigma associated with HIV/AIDS thatit's imperative that we have providers that are sensitive to those specificcultural needs." Nau added, "If people don't feel comfortable gettinginto the program, they're not going to get in the program at all. Under theworst-case scenario, we may have new patients who decide that since they don'tsee someone who is culturally sensitive on the list of providers, they mightnot seek care" (Wingett, Arizona Republic, 1/9).

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