Thursday, January 31, 2008

UNITED GIVING A FACE TO AIDS



Mismanaging of Funding of the Ryan White Act, by Puerto Rican Government



“The tragedy of life saving medications not being delivered to people with HIV/ AIDS because of government mismanagement, as has been demonstrated in numerous governmental reports and news articles, is inexcusable. We cannot speak for activists in Puerto Rico, but we can demonstrate our support for their demands” said Rosa Colón from Unid@s Dandole Cara al SIDA: New York Chapter.

“Puerto Rican activists are demanding that the Commonwealth and San Juan governments distribute federal funds for AIDS through independent credible third party organizations. They are also seeking an infusion of emergency funds from the Puerto Rican and San Juan Governments to address the current life or death reality. Finally they are requesting Congressional oversight hearing and fact-finding as to what has gone so wrong in the way the Commonwealth and San Juan government are delivering health care services to people living with HIV / AIDS and what corrective action should be taken,” said Dennis deLeon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS.

The poor health conditions in Puerto Rico are causing people with AIDS who have lived in the island to move to the United States. “I was force to move to New York to receive AIDS medications and medical services. With so many medications that can prolong life, it really upsets me that my sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico have to live in a situation, which will lead to shorter lives. Why do they have to leave to live?” said Mr. Menendez, a patient from Puerto Rico. “If we don’t take care of the health care system in Puerto Rico we will then have to take care of our people here as demonstrated by the number of people that United Bronx Parents has flown in from Puerto Rico” said Lorraine Montenegro, Executive Director of United Bronx Parents Inc.

(Puerto Rico has a death due to AIDS of 16.4 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 4.9 per 100,000).
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