If you’ll recall the reports from last December, the State of Texas stripped Planned Parenthood of $600,000 in federal funds that went to HIV testing and prevention in Houston. No reason was given for the cuts, which appeared to be part of a broader attack on Planned Parenthood.
Following up on the story, the Texas Observer found that the state health department gave the money to three county health departments, insisting that they could do the job Planned Parenthood had been doing for the past 30 years.
However, as of June, the health department in Harris County, where Houston is located, has yet to perform a single HIV test. The department has received $250,000 in state funding and said it is in the planning stages of its HIV work, the Observer reports.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC), which serves Houston, said that in the five months since it lost the funding, it would have provided 2,900 HIV tests and distributed about 165,000 condoms.
In 2014, about 1,300 residents of Harris County tested positive for HIV, the highest of any county in Texas.
To read more about the HIV services provided at Planned Parenthood, read the POZ cover story from March 2016, “Sexual Health Care for All.”