This article discusses two meetings. First, it reports on the meeting of the HIV Planning Council (HIVPC). Second, it reports on the meeting of the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). It then reports on the federal budgetary process.

The Broward HIV Planning Council (HIVPC) oversees the Ryan White Care (RWC) Program of Broward (RWC-Broward). The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) advises the RWC program of the Florida Department of Health in Broward (RWC-FL DOH Broward). 

The HIVPC met on July 25

The Broward HIV Planning Council allocates RWC funds for each type of service. In this meeting, the HIVPC allocated funds and prioritized service types for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. RWC-Broward will write a grant to the federal RWC program requesting these amounts.

Fighting Stigma Through Fashion

Andrew Ruffner reported on the “Fighting Stigma thru Fashion” show. Its goal was to attract people between the ages of 18 and 39, not currently linked to HIV services. Previous events had attracted mostly people over 51.

Eighty-seven people attended. Of the 72 attendees who disclosed their age, 71% were between the ages of 18 and 39. Most attendees were not affiliated with an HIV agency. 

Leonard Jones, RWC-Broward, announced that a pilot program for online dual recertification for RWC-Broward and RWC-Fl DOH Broward will begin soon. Broward is the only county in Florida attempting online dual recertification. If successful, this program would be a model for all Florida.

The pilot program will involve the random selection of about 50 clients per week. It will last for about three months. Participation is voluntary. Only clients needing re-certification will be eligible to participate.  

Jones reported that Broward’s new HIV cases had declined. A reduction in HIV cases means a smaller target population. Ironically, this reduction in new HIV cases may cause the amount of the RWC award to decrease. Still Jones said this decrease is a good trend. 

SFAN met on August 2

Serena Cook of RWC-FL DOH Broward reported on that program. Cook said that she was still working on obtaining sexual orientation and gender identity demographics.

Clayton Weiss, HIV Patient Care Manager, phoned in his report from Tallahassee. He reported that the CVS specialty pharmacy should be open by August 19. Specialty pharmacies target people with complex pharmaceutical or adherence needs.

Weiss also reported that $4.7 million is available for HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS) for six Florida cities. Those cities are Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. These funds must be used for short term housing needs. West Palm Beach’s short term housing HOPWA program does not meet that requirement. As a result, the other five other cities will receive the $4.7 million.

Washington legislative update

In early August, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) reported that the Senate passed a bill setting budget caps. That bill also ended mandated sequestration cuts. With budget caps set, the Senate can begin work on the 2020 appropriations bill. The House has already passed an appropriations bill.


To see the video, “Fighting Stigma through Fashion,” please visit

Next SFAN Meeting: Friday, September 6, at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Healthplex, 1000 NE 56thSt., Fort Lauderdale. SFAN welcomes newcomers.

Next HIVPC meeting: Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at Broward Government Center, Room GC-430, 115 S. Andrews Ave.