$201,368 in federal HIV funding has been pulled from the West Virginia Division of STD, HIV and Hepatitis.
The funding will be redirected to areas of the United States more directly affected by HIV than West Virginia. West Virginia is labeled a "low incidence" state for HIV and AIDS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reduced funding over the last two years by a total of $617,541.
"One of the program areas that will be impacted by this year's reduction in federal funding is the elimination of the $20 reimbursement for HIV test specimen collection and counseling services," said State Health Officer and Commissioner for Public Health Dr. Marian Swinker. "Last year that money went to 15 local health departments providing HIV counseling and testing in areas with elevated prevalence, totaling $92,000. Two years ago, all 49 health departments received the $20 reimbursement fee, but the effort was downsized to 15 health departments in 2012 after CDC reduced funding to target areas based upon having HIV morbidity. Thus, the funding cut this year was not surprising, as federal funds are being targeted more narrowly, nationwide."
What money does remain will go toward lab testing. Health departments will still be able to offer free HIV lab testing.
If you'd like to know more about the cuts, you can click here or call (800) 642-8244.