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Local and Community News

North Carolina: A Focused Fight -- AIDS Coalition Regroups

May 6, 2003

Since its 1986 founding by gay and lesbian activists, Triad Health Project has undergone a drastic evolution. Most visibly, after pipes burst and flooded its old location, the organization moved to a new space at 801 Summit Ave., Greensboro. Less obvious has been the sea change in its client base: from nearly all white males to 74 percent African American and 40 percent female. Nearly half THP's clients were infected through heterosexual sex; only 32 percent were infected through homosexual sex.

Other statistics show a dramatic drop in AIDS deaths, thanks mainly to improved medicines, but a steady rate of infection. "We've grown from a grass-root organization to provide support and comfort for the dying, to a social service agency that helps people live more useful lives," said Associate Director Jeff Prince.

Today THP serves nearly 600 clients, providing case management care through office and home visits and via telephone. It offers free HIV testing, stresses AIDS prevention, and transports clients to medical appointments. It feeds clients with donations from its food pantry and serves hundreds of hot meals annually at Higher Ground, a converted residence on Bessemer Ave. THP also offers services through a third location in High Point. With the majority of their clients living below the poverty level, case managers deal with substance abuse, homelessness and mental illness. Fund-raising also presents a challenge, given the stagnant local and national economies and the decline in charity giving since the September 11 attacks.

The January flood at its old offices wiped out THP's computer system and a quarter of its client files, causing an estimated $100,000 in damages. While insurance will cover much of the damages, staffers found themselves scrambling to continue the agency's work. Agency leaders had to shop for new office space at a time when they should have been gearing up for the annual Dining for Friends event -- yet so far, volunteers have signed up to give more than 120 fund-raising parties on May 17. The annual event usually brings in $150,000-$180,000, Prince said.

Back to other CDC news for May 6, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.)
04.27.03; Tom Steadman


  
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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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