Protesters angry over AIDS funding at Cuyahoga County Board of Health

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PARMA, Ohio- Local AIDS activists rallied outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Health on Wednesday.

The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation said the board of health mishandled county and federal funds for AIDS care.

About 40 people attended the rally Wednesday morning at the board of health, located on Venture Drive in Parma.

“The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act—known as the CARE Act—is the nation’s premier AIDS program that is the principle source of funding for AIDS care and services nationwide,” said Tracy Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the AIDs Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, in a news release on Wednesday. “As a result of the Cuyahoga Board of Health’s mishandling of the funds allocated here, lifesaving care and services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are in serious jeopardy.”

The groups are planning a second protest on Thursday at the Office of the County Executive on East 9th Street in Cleveland.

“As an administrator of funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, we have fiduciary responsibilities and obligations to program participants that require us to follow a clearly defined protocol.  We feel that our actions are reflective of those commitments,” said Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan in a statement.

Allan said the AIDS Taskforce is well aware of the guidelines for the Ryan White program.

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