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Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 8:48am

Ga. Gets $65 M To Fund HIV/AIDS Programs Statewide

Georgia has received more than $65 million in federal funds designed to help people living with HIV and AIDS.

Activists called the cash award Monday a major source of funding for people living with the disease who are in need or have no health insurance.

Jeff Cheek, a Fulton County health administrator, called the announcement an exciting one - especially since so many AIDS activists feared the declining economy would reduce funding at a time when more people have lost jobs and health coverage.

Fulton County received $20.3 million, an increase of $1.7 million over last year, to be distributed among the 20-county metro area.

But rural and underserved areas of Georgia also received money for their county or district programs. That includes more than $500 million going to the Lowndes County Board of Health, over $600 million to the Macon-Bibb County Board of Health, and nearly $300 million to the North Georgia Health District.

Georgia's cash was part of $1.8 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants awarded Monday across the country.