January 27, 2014
This article was reported by the Albany Herald.
The Albany Herald reported that the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Housing Trust Fund awarded $225,000 to Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) to increase services to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program in Albany. LSG is partnering with local advocacy and service organizations to curb the homelessness that HIV-positive individuals are vulnerable to due to the existing stigma of having the disease, as well as the costs of treatment.
"We are very excited to work with our community partners to assist meeting the needs of this vulnerable population," said Phillip Hogan, LSG's HOPWA program manager. Eight regional areas, including Valdosta, Albany, Tifton, and Waycross, will provide assistance with mortgage, rent, and utilities to persons with HIV.
The Georgia Department of Public Health Online Analytical Statistical Information System reported 32 deaths related to HIV/AIDS in the Southwest Public Health District in 2011, 14 of which were from Dougherty County, indicating the heavy impact of HIV in this area. CDC's 2009 statistics show that the highest number of AIDS diagnoses among adults and adolescents lived in the southern United States. The south also accounted for almost half of new AIDS diagnoses in 2010.