With L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein in attendance, a crowd of more than1,000 people gathered in front of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Friday afternoon, shut down Santa Monica Boulevard and protested Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal
If Schwarzenegger's plan goes through the state legislature, it will take effect July 1. HIV/AIDS services providers say the proposal amounts to an $80

million cut to California's safety net for HIV-positive residents,

“endangering thousands of low-income Californians who depend on the

state for their HIV drug therapy, medical care, housing and other vital

resources,” according to AIDS Project LA.

If that's not enough, state funding for HIV testing, a cornerstone of preventing HIV in California, will also be eliminated. Michael Weinstein of AIDS Healthcare Foundation says this “slash and burn” effort to deal with the state's out of control budgetary problems will be “catastrophic” for people with HIV/AIDS.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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