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Philadelphia Activists Demand Public Housing For Those With AIDS

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A handful of activists conducted a small demonstration today outside Philadelphia City Hall, demanding that the Nutter administration include money in its upcoming budget for housing those suffering with HIV/AIDS.

Activists from the group “Act Up” chanted and held signs demanding that the mayor recognize that the need for housing for those suffering from the disease is critical and can’t be ignored.

davis antonio actup side mabrams Philadelphia Activists Demand Public Housing For Those With AIDS

(Antonio Davis)

“In the city of Philadelphia, there are currently 8,000 people on the AIDS housing waiting list. And Mayor Nutter continues to ignore the people who are on the streets, dying, getting infections on the streets,” said Antonio Davis (right), who is HIV-positive and was one of the protest organizers.

Davis says Nutter met with AIDS activists last fall about the issue but told them that in today’s economy there just isn’t money available for what they’re asking.

The city has never funded any housing for those with HIV/AIDS, and Davis recognizes it could be an uphill struggle to get new money.

While he had no easy solutions, Davis suggested the city could find support from foundations who help those with HIV and AIDS.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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  • Amitz

    More gibs me dats

  • Andrew S.

    Not only is ending the AIDS housing waiting list the right thing to do, it is also the most cost effective approach to this crisis. I agree that the cost of stays in hospitals and shelters FAR outweighs the cost of ending this wait list. Other cities augment the federal funds they receive toward housing for people with AIDS. Philadelphia is a glaring exception! Time for Philly to catch up with other American cities that support housing for people with AIDS!

  • yetta

    well let me play the devil and respone to linda no one said they want free housing as long as the city does not put money out for housing for people with the virus. ignoring the people who are on the streets, they die, get infections on the streets and shealters.these same people are not gonna get the treatment,medications,or the care that they need to stay alive.

  • John B.

    I believe the key point that the demonstrators were making is that prioritizing housing for people living with HIV/AIDS is not just a good moral thing to do, but moreover that it makes economic sense and is good public health policy. In these tight budget times, rather than gutting budgets and sacrificing those who are most vulnerable, spending needs to be focused on prioritizing policies that are, as many like to say, truly cost-effective and evidence-based. There is an abundance of research that indicates that supporting permanent, stable housing is very strongly connected with better health outcomes, which also translates to lower expenses incurred from stays in hospitals and shelters. It is my understanding that most of the housing assistance that people living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia receive is through rental subsidies supported through funding from the federal government, yet the city itself contributes no city dollars toward this cause. With a tax payer cost of approximately just $2 per year, by my estimate, it seems like a small price to pay to get people with HIV/AIDS from a waiting list into real housing, and it will very well pay for itself.

  • Kaytee

    In terms of medical outcomes, people who are HIV+ and homeless die nearly as frequently as people who are HIV+ and don’t have medicine. It’s insane to force people with weak immune systems to stay in shelters or on the street, when housing is cheaper and saves lives. On top of it, if someone has housing, they will be much more likely to take medication, which lowers the amount of virus in the blood and makes it much less likely that the person will unwillingly pass HIV on to someone else. Housing is HIV prevention. And Housing is HIV treatment. The city must support housing for people with HIV. It’s common sense!

  • Kate Krauss

    Article is a little garbled. Homeless people who suffer from HIV/AIDS die much sooner than people with HIV with stable housing. There are hundreds of people with AIDS in Philadelphia who are living in shelters and on grates. They need our support.

    Just picture having cancer and having to sleep outside. Now imagine having HIV/AIDS instead.

  • Linda G.

    Give me a break. They want free housing too? Unbelievable! I’ve heard everything.

    • Jose Marco

      Tax breaks for COMCAST in Philadelphia how about not letting human beings die in the gutters of Philadelphia.

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