ATLANTA (CN) — An Atlanta nonprofit providing HIV-prevention services to at-risk populations claims in court the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unfairly denied it a $500,000 grant that would have allowed it to extend targeted services to young black and Latino men.
In a federal complaint filed on May 11 in Washington, DC, AID Atlanta claims the CDC violated the Administrative Procedure act by arbitrarily denying the nonprofit the requested funding.
AID Atlanta says the CDC “mismanaged a critical funding opportunity and impermissibly denied funding to a long-standing partner fighting HIV/AIDS in the Atlanta, Georgia area.”
As a result, the nonprofit says, it has been forced to cut staff and reduce the services it provides.
It also claims in the longer term, thousands of fewer HIV tests will now be performed in Atlanta.
AID Atlanta says it has been offering HIV testing, education and prevention services to populations disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS for the past 14 years, and that it has received funding from the CDC for almost that entire time.
As recounted in the complaint, the nonprofit applied for a grant to continue and build upon its service for young black and Latino men.
It says it was initially approved for the grant and that a site visit to its offices went well. Despite this, AID Atlanta says, the CDC then unexpectedly denied the organization funding.
“At no time during this period has CDC expressed any concerns or criticisms of AID Atlanta’s HIV prevention programs or its abilities to manage such programs and federal resources,” the complaint says.
AID Atlanta alleges that the CDC’s sudden denial of funding is “not based on a full and fair evaluation of AID Atlanta’s proposal and capabilities.”
AID Atlanta is seeking an order directing the CDC to immediately award the organization $500,000 in accordance with the original grant opportunity.
The nonprofit is represented by Benjamin Vernia of Washington, DC.
A representative of the CDC declined to comment on pending litigation.