Having lost state funding, an HIV testing initiative in East Hartford, Connecticut, will be forced to shut its doors in July, The Hartford Courant reports (courant.com, 6/22).

According to the article, the program has provided confidential testing and counseling to hundreds of people over the past four years. Its director, Tracy Calloway, says the effort is the only convenient option for large numbers of intravenous-drug users and others at risk for HIV infection in East Hartford.

One 20-year-old woman told the Courant: “It took a lot for me to get the nerve to come over here, but it gets easier every time. If they close this program up, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

The program received $75,000 last year, but its application for continued funding was denied this year because of competition from other providers.

“I don’t have a professional grant-writer, but I do have a lot of people who rely on me to be tested,” said Calloway. “To me, that should be the basis for determining who gets funded, not who turned in the most polished application.”