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American State Refuses Funding For HIV Treatment

After failing to exclude Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi from the federal government’s Ending the HIV Epidemic in the US Initiative, state leadership in Nashville has decided to reject “as much as $10 million” for the treatment, testing and prevention of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. 


Two days after notoriously-anti-abortion politician Ralph Alvarado took over as Health Commissioner in the state, the Department of Health announced they would reject the funding. The commissioner stated that it is in the best interest of Tennesseans for the State topay for HIV prevention and treatment.


Yahoo! Entertainment reports that programmes that are funded by local municipalities will not be affected. However, the federally-funded initiatives will terminate on May 31, 2023. 


United Way, another non-profit serving Tennessee, disclosed to PPTNM that health authorities had initially tried to kick them out of the program for “reasons wholly unrelated to the purpose of the program” (i.e. abortion.) The Tennessee Health Department is supposedly not the instigator of this change. However, the department had decided that in “the current political climate, we…can no longer directly or indirectly fund” any programme that participates with Planned Parenthood. 


ABC News states that organisations working together on HIV prevention and treatment in Tennessee were “shocked” at the rejection of funding. 


The Ending the HIV Epidemic in the US Initiative funds “HIV counselling, testing and referral, HIV partner counselling and referral services, HIV health education and risk reduction programs, HIV prevention for positive individuals, public information programs, a toll-free HIV/STD hotline” and other services for states that accept the grant. 

The American South, as a region, has “the highest number of people living with the virus” of all Americans. According to the Atlanta-based Centers For Disease Control & Prevention, Tennessee had the 16th most HIV-positive people in the US, according to statistics from 2015. 


Human Immunodeficiency Virus, known as HIV for short, is a sexually-transmitted virus that allegedly originated in what was then known as Zaire. It then spread from Africa to the rest of the world, ultimately killed 700,000 Americans according to the Kaiser Family Foundation

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Tags: AIDS HIV Planned Parenthood Backlash Nashville Reactionary politics United Way TN Ralph Alvarado


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