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FYI: The HIV/AIDS Planning Council, a community oversight board for city AIDS policy, will meet today to vote on a letter urging the mayor’s office not to move forward with plans to fold its Office of AIDS Policy into the health department. Advocates note that the office is intended to offer intra-governmental oversight of the health department and other agencies’ programs and spending. Relations between the mayor’s office and AIDS community advocates have become increasingly strained in recent months. Yesterday, 30 activists were arrested during a protest at City Hall. The protestors decried the mayor’s budget cuts for the HIV/AIDS Services Administration and his controversial proposal to contract out to community groups its legally mandated responsibility to provide case management. The latter move would require rewriting Local Law 49, which lays out what HIV/AIDS services the city must provide and how it must provide them. These tensions have drawn the attention of Washington, and a federal representative is expected to attend today’s meeting. [5/15/03]

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