JEFFERSON CITY - The state administration has decided not to seek from state lawmakers additional funds to provide services to AIDS patients who had covered by a program that has run out of money.
The decision was made by Health Department Director Colleen Kivlahan and endorsed by the governor.
Last month, the Health Department reported it had over-spent the budget for the Ryan White AIDS program and ceased further coverage.
Kivlahan sent a memo last week to members of the regional consortium that coordinates services for people with AIDS and HIV in outstate Missouri. In in the memo, she refused to request additional state funds for HIV/AIDS services in her budget request that will go before the legislature in January.
"Basically, she's telling us if we want extra money, it's up to us to get it," said David Peters, director of the AIDS Project of the Ozarks.
Peters has said that people in the outstate areas need medication and money for rent, and he plans a community-based effort to get additional funding.
Nanci Gonder, spokesperson for the Health Department, said Kivlahan had never planned to ask for additional funding.
"There are many programs here at the Department of Health that could benefit from additional funding," Gonder said. "We have limited resources."
Kivlahan did agree to accompany consortia members to meet with legislative leaders if they decided to ask for a bailout anyway.
Chris Sifford, spokesman for the governor, said Carnahan will follow Kivlahan's lead on this issue.
"These are difficult issues, but the governor will likely go with Colleen's recommendations," Sifford said.
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