Local & Community News
Arizona: HIV Patients Getting Help
June 5, 2003
In the early 1990s, people with HIV/AIDS often had to travel to San Francisco or New York to obtain cutting-edge medical treatment of the disease. But the time and cost associated with such trips meant that many in Arizona could not get the HIV/AIDS health services they needed. As a result, an effort to bring advanced HIV/AIDS care to the state evolved into the nonprofit Body Positive.Adapted from:
As one of the Southwest's top HIV/AIDS health care agencies, Body Positive served more than 2,000 people with the disease last year. "We are helping the community control the spread of HIV," said Brian Helander, Body Positive's executive director. But Helander, the former director of emergency and critical care at Paradise Valley Hospital, said the agency is currently facing a situation not uncommon for many other non-profits: a growing demand for services amid a slowing of the economy and donations. Helander said the privately funded agency is lucky that its budget has at least remained flat, at about $2 million; even so, demand for its services climbs daily.
With a staff of doctors, nurses, counselors and lab technicians, Body Positive is not affiliated with just one hospital, as many AIDS' support organizations are. In addition to conducting clinical research to help improve medical care of those affected, Body Positive also works to help find treatment, counseling and support for people newly diagnosed with HIV.
At least 84 percent of Body Positive's revenue goes to helping its clients. Government grants comprise about 44 percent of its money, and fundraising contributes another 24 percent. Another 30 percent comes from city grants, private donations, state grants and other sources. The smallest portion, 2 percent, comes from its vitamin and herb shop.
06.03.03; Catherine Burrough