CLEVELAND, Ohio – The state of Ohio will not renew $1.5 million in grants to the city of Cleveland that paid for HIV/AIDS prevention, education, testing and treatment programs in six counties, the city announced Tuesday.

Cleveland’s Department of Health was the point agency for the program for Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Medina and Lorain counties.

The department learned Nov. 20 from the state that the grants would not be renewed. Cleveland was unable to change the decision, despite a two and one-half hour meeting with the state Health Director Amy Acton and members of her staff Thanksgiving week, said Natoya Walker Minor, Mayor Frank Jackson’s chief of public affairs.

Ohio Department of Health officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Cleveland health officials said they were only told their grant application did not score high enough for approval.

“They didn’t give us a concrete explanation,” Walker Minor said.

There are about 3,270 people living with HIV/AIDS in Cleveland, said Cleveland Public Health Director Merle Gordon. There were about 100 new cases in the city in 2018.

Cleveland has partnered with the state since 1995 on HIV/AIDS intervention programs, Gordon said. Last year was its first to act as point for a multi-county program. The program was covered by two grants that totaled $1.5 million.

It is unclear who will handle the program now.

“We are strategizing to determine what we can do next,” Gordon said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here