Oct 7, 2004
Hi Dr. Frascino;
As stated, this is an update. I would request that you forgive me for my misspellings, for my brain isn't what it used to be.
I would like to clear up one thing. BLAST is still in the birthing stages, and I am working with International AIDS Empowerment, in El Paso, to try to create an HIV Service Organization that focuses on the needs of PLWH, and I want to follow their model and try to staff it completely with PLWH. We feel that this is the only real approach that works. Seems like a no-brainer to supply part time work for clients, while serving the needs of the PLWH community.
Here in Southeast Arizona, the work of HIV has been in the hands of the County Health Departmetn Since we arrived from New Mexico in Aug. '99. One of the sad consequences of having civil servants do the work is that they have little interest in the health and welfare of the clients. What it boils down to is always the health and welfare of their CAREERS. This really tends to piss me off, and I usually end up in trouble with the State Health Department, as I have a terrrible time not to bring them to task over stupid administrative stuff that inevetably takes care away from the very people that they are supposed to be serving.
I am now trying to stay focused on the foundational development of BLAST, and have attracted 5 local clients already. Three of them seem very keen and are anxious to get their teeth into the work of HIV. One is a nice lady with three small children. She has been left by her husband who died of HIV complications. She is currently working on finishing up her Masters Degree, and wants to go on for her Doctorate. Her chosen field, HIV counseling. I generally don't have much time for MSWs, but in the work of HIV, they are not only mandatory, but often very helpful. Since this lady has such a pure heart already, it seems only a natural to include her in the staff.
We are going to start begging for monies from Pharma., due to the fact that I really do not want to get government money. The problem with Government money is that you have to hire somegody to keep the records, and then somebody else to do all the reporting necessary. It seems that the private sources of funding are much less critical and besides, small rural HIV organizations never have the time nor the resources to do that much paperwork.
IAE is run exclusively on private funding and it works out so much better, One of the main benefits here in Arizona, is the "free agent" status that it places you in with the State Departmetn of Health. I also am a member of the Arizona Department of Health ADAP Formulary Committee, and so the Drug companies will more than likely be interested in speaking to me about a funding effort.
I was wondering if you might be attending USCA this month in Philly. I am going to be there, and yesterday I went with my beautiful man to Tucson (60mi) to buy coat and tie, and the like, as I haven't had to wear mine since the years in the Silicon valley, and my new Kaletra body just won't fit into those clothes any more. I am not used to wearing the clothing of business, as here in Arizona a new pair of Levis and a really nice shirt, constitute "Dressed".
We live near Tombstone and Bisbee. Bisbee is not unlike the early mining towns of the Sierras there in Northern California, but differs in the fact that it is the Gayest little mining town in Arizona.
I don't know just why we have come into contact again, nor will I question it. I know that universe acts in mysterious ways, so I will just run with it and enjoy it.
Thanks for reading, Your Bud, Tim.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for the update. Keep up the excellent work!
I won't be at the Philly meeting. I'm in Las Vegas at the moment, and next on the travel circuit for this month are Baltimore to give a lecture and then on to Palm Springs.
By the way, I think Levis and a really nice shirt definitely qualify for "dressed!" And as for the gayest little mining town in Arizona, that sounds like a setting for one of those outdoorsy testosterone-laden Titan-men "adult" videos.
Stay well, Tim.
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