Fulton County returns millions in funding meant for HIV prevention
The agency responsible for curtailing the exploding number of new HIV infections in Atlanta has been returning sometimes as much or more of the money it receives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to failure to spend it.
WABE reports that since 2012, the CDC has awarded the Fulton County Health Department grants totaling nearly $20 million to fund HIV prevention efforts. In the first two years, the county spent about half the money, and in 2014 they spent more than half, in the process leaving on the table $8.7 million that should have gone to the fight against HIV.
Dr. Patrice Harris, director of health services for Fulton County, tells WABE there are many reasons for the oversight, including the grant’s funding cycle, the amount of time needed to hire and train personnel, turnover and county bureaucracy. Harris is principal investigator of the grant and is responsible for executing the county’s HIV prevention strategy.
The health department falls under the oversight of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, whose chair John Eaves tells WABE that he just learned of the spending problems days ago, calling them “inexcusable.”