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HIV Program Cuts

Last week, the Ohio Department of Health announced changes to a national program that serves people living with HIV/AIDS. Changes to the Ryan White program will cut medical services, restrict eligibility, institute a services wait list, and reduce medications currently offered by the program.

Right now more than 14ooo Ohio residents living with HIV/AIDS are served by the program, but escalating costs and a projected state defecit of 16.4mil will cut that number.

Bill Hardy with AIDS Resource Center Ohio isn't sure the cuts will stop there. He says, "It's our [ARC] understanding that not all the decisions about cuts to the program have been made, or been made public. So, there may be additional cuts announced down the road."

The program cuts will largely impact the growing number of people without health insurance. That makes it tough for service organizations, which have seen their own funding losses this year.

Hardy says, "In 2010, ARC had documented about $160,000 in loss of funding, which is just agonizing. If there are any programs that need additional funding, like the Ryan White program, it is for services in HIV testing and HIV prevention."

Prevention and testing are extremely important when you consider that ARC and the Center for Disease Control estimate that 1 in 5 people living with HIV don't know they've been infected.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.