IN AIDS NEWS....

IN AIDS NEWS. Hillary Clinton is blocking renewal of the 1990 Ryan White Act, the primary HIV/AIDS legislation covering people with low incomes and little or no insurance. The reasoning is kind of interesting: The old formula apportioned money based on the number of actual AIDS cases, heavily favoring areas like New York and San Francisco that absorbed the epidemic early on. The new formula would hand out cash based on HIV incidence rates, which would give quite a bit more to rural and Southern areas which were hit by the plague hit later and are still undergoing the transformation. This, of course, would take money from New York, which is why Clinton is blocking the bill. Unfortunately, I don't really know how much money is being shifted, and how that relates to the needs of various areas. My quick read is that this is a mixture of parochialism and insufficient resources -- that the new rules are supportable, but that what's needed is more funding in total, not the reallocation of already insufficient grants. But readers with more knowledge in this subject than I should chime in.

Relatedly, Barack Obama is returning to Kenya (where his father is from) to a hero's welcome, and using the spotlight for good. He'll be taking a HIV/AIDS test on live television in order to crack through the stigma of the diagnostic. Good for him.

--Ezra Klein

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