SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Budget cuts continue to destroy HIV and AIDS programs throughout California, and it's having a major impact on communities in Santa Barbara county.
In 2009 Pacific Pride Foundation, a non-profit Aids and a Lesbian and Gay center, lost nearly $800,000 in state AIDS funding.The county lost $88,000 in this fiscal year.
Through fundraising programs and donations from the community, Pacific Pride has been able to keep some of it's services alive while making reductions in staff.
The organization serves hundreds of people, and does testing on nearly 2000 of those diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in the county. Funding for the services are critical.
Just in the last couple months, with reduced funding for treatment and testing programs, the region has seen a 70% up tick in HIV infections. The center offers educational programs, case management services wherein nurses help patients with their medication and doctor's appointments.
They also offer access to a food pantry twice a week in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. All the food is donated and free for low-income clients.
The 23rd annual Heart and Sole AIDS walk is happening Sunday morning starting at Fess Parker Doubletree resort in Santa Barbara East Beach.
To Donate, or for more information visit: http://www.pacificpridefoundation.org/
NewsChannel 3 Anchor Shirin Rajaee reports.