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Court Restores Funding For HIV/AIDS Services

NEW YORK (CN) - The federal government must renew more than $1 million in emergency funding for HIV/AIDS resources in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

The decision reversed a district court's ruling that Long Island no longer qualified for the amount of funding it has received since 1990, when Congress passed an emergency HIV/AIDS funding act.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reduced the counties' funding under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006, the successor to the 1990 act. The new law effectively replaced a grandfather clause in the previous law with two quantity-based requirements that the counties allegedly failed to meet in 2007.

To continue to receive the same level of funding, the counties needed to have at least 2,000 reported AIDS cases in the last five years and at least 3,000 living AIDS cases in the past year. Only a failure of both criteria could trigger the funding cut.

Though the counties had too few new AIDS cases to qualify, they had more than 3,000 living AIDS cases in 2006, which meant they would likely succeed on the merits of their case, the court concluded.

A three-judge panel reversed the district court's refusal to enjoin the government from cutting the counties' funding and remanded for further proceedings.

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