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Local and Community News

Detroit: HIV/AIDS Organization Struggles to Survive

December 12, 2002

Detroit's oldest agency for HIV-positive women and their children, Children's Immune Disorder, is struggling for survival. "We need at least $50,000 in committed funds for a couple of years," said Kerry Laycock, board chair of CID. "And we have to resolve this by year's end."

When it started in 1985, CID was "Michigan's first response to women who were HIV-positive and their caregivers," said Patricia Priebe, CID's cofounder. When CID was strong, it offered support groups, transportation to medical appointments, a preschool counseling program, holiday parties and more. Now CID has one staff person, one weekly evening support group, and a program that distributes food baskets and baby supplies to HIV- positive mothers.

"Money is tighter now," said Priebe, who resigned earlier this year as the organization's longtime executive director because of the stresses of keeping the organization going. The Detroit Health Department, which oversees distribution of most federal AIDS grants, "is putting more restrictions in. There's more paperwork and guidelines. When you have a small agency with limited staffing, it gets tough," she said.

Jewell Martin, HIV/AIDS coordinator for DHD, one of two city agencies that have funded the group, said there are similar programs. "There will be no gap in services" if CID closes, she said. Detroit's Planning and Development Department also has funded CID since 1999, but a grant to renew $107,000 was rejected when the application was turned in late, said spokesperson Sylvia Crawford. Martin said changes in federal guidelines also may make CID ineligible for funds that focus on HIV-positive people with a co-existing mental health diagnosis.

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Barb Murray, executive director of Detroit-based AIDS Partnership of Michigan, said she only knows of one other local agency -- Simon House, a small shelter program for HIV-positive women -- that focuses exclusively on women. Detroit needs more women's services, particularly serving African-American women, she said. Of the 2,429 HIV-positive women in Michigan, 73 percent are black, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Back to other CDC news for December 12, 2002

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Adapted from:
Detroit Free Press
12.11.02; Patricia Anstett


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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