Feds cut HIV tracking effort in Ga.

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Georgia has been dropped from a federal program to spot trends in HIV infections.

The state had been participating in the program for the past three years, but the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped Georgia’s funding this year, CDC officials confirmed Thursday.

The first set of results from the new HIV incidence surveillance program were announced to much fanfare earlier this month. Officials asserted that the annual HIV infection rate in the country was 40 percent higher than previously estimated.

Georgia had received more than $1 million in CDC funding to participate in the advanced testing and analysis, which helps spot emerging trends in the epidemic.

But the CDC, for reasons officials did not fully explain, cut Georgia from its latest round of funding, which began in January and runs for five years.

Georgia still will track and report HIV and AIDS cases, state officials stressed, but it will not have the advantage of the new technology and methods. The funding cut does not impact any other state HIV/AIDS testing or services.

“It’s a setback,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, co-director for the Emory Center for AIDS Research.

For the full story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, go here.


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