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Local and Community News

East Alabama AIDS Outreach Running Out of Funds

June 24, 2003

East Alabama AIDS Outreach will close when its operating funds run out in July, leaving 146 people with HIV unassisted, said Executive Director Marilyn Swyers. "It's going to take $20,000 to keep the doors open this month, and we have to find a steady means of income to run our infrastructure. If we're not able to do this, we cannot continue," she said.

EAAO has federal and state funds to cover medicine distribution, transportation and free HIV testing, but it lacks the cash for daily expenses, including rent, insurance and payroll. These services run $4,800 a month and must come from local government and private contributors.

This year's fundraisers generated only $20,000 of the center's $50,000 goal. The only local government to provide funding is the city of Auburn, which provides $3,500 per year for administrative salaries as well as $3,500 through the Community Development Block Grant, which goes toward housing and utility assistance for AIDS patients. EAAO has also received money from the United Way of Lee County as well as a $10,000 donation from East Alabama Medical Center.

Serving Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa counties, the center has reported 57 new HIV cases in 2002, up 62 percent from 2001. In Lee County alone, 194 people have been diagnosed with HIV since 1989. Most of EAAO's clients come from Lee, Macon and Russell counties. Earlier this year, Swyers requested help from Lee and Russell counties and the city of Opelika, but that effort was unsuccessful.

Back to other CDC news for June 24, 2003

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Adapted from:
Associated Press

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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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