AIDS funds to Puerto Rico cut13th March 2007
The United States has cut off payments to clinics in Puerto Rico, leaving hundreds of poor people without their HIV/AIDS medication.
Puerto Rican officials say a fraud investigation by the FBI into the clinics, which have been at the centre of previous graft scandals, is to blame for the funding freeze. But patient groups blame local officials.
The 21 privately run clinics stopped getting money from the US in late 2006, but only began rationing and cutbacks in recent weeks as funding began to run out.
Some clinics have reduced their hours, staff levels and the amount of medicine they distribute.
One clinic director described the situation as "a terrible crisis", where patients were missing treatment. The Caribbean Youth House director said it had cut back staff dramatically and turned away about 15% of its 700 patients.
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Title: AIDS funds to Puerto Rico cut
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 2217
Date Added: 13th Mar 2007