HIV help cut in SA Budget
HIV advocates have condemned measures in the SA budget that cut funding for STI services.
Last week’s SA State Budget cut funding to a number of initiatives including a targeted prevention program for people with HIV and STIs run by the Sexual Health Information Networking and Education group, SHINE SA.
Catholic charity Centacare will also have one of its schemes axed by the end of the year.
“This program is largely focussed on supporting homeless individuals with HIV, whose conditions can be well-controlled,” the Government said in a budget media release.
Health Minister Stephen Wade said other support services, including some that rely on federal funding, are available.
“A number of the programs will actually be able to tap into Medicare funding so there's a, shall we say, refocusing of the funding,” he said.
“It's very important we continue to look at the best way of investing in public health services.”
Centacare CEO Dale West says it is “offensive” to suggest there are “more appropriate agencies”.
He said the Government's claim that Centacare's programme is just for homeless people is inaccurate.
Labor spokesman Chris Picton described the decision as “heartless and cruel”.
“While HIV treatment has improved immeasurably, it is still a complex condition to treat and involves a number of different medications that need to be taken at particular times,” he said.
“That can be very complex to do if you're homeless.”