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U.S. News

AIDS Organization Continues Support in Southern Nevada

May 3, 2011

AFAN (Aid for AIDS of Nevada) is one of many support organizations founded in the mid-1980s, when the disease was a death sentence. While advances in medical treatment have helped people with HIV/AIDS live longer, more productive lives, those affected still have many needs, said Jennifer Morss, executive director of AFAN.

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"Death is the easy part. It is living that's difficult," Morss said. "I can get a cold and just take one or two days off work, and I'm fine. One of our clients ... might be out a whole week -- or a month."

AFAN's 22 staffers serve 3,500 Southern Nevadans. According to Morss, 40 new clients seek AFAN's services each month. In the early days of the epidemic, a gain of 40 clients likely coincided with a loss of 40 clients. But lower disease-related mortality rates mean AFAN's case managers take on new patients without losing old ones.

AFAN is funded through private donations and federal grants, Morss said. "Grants are still written like people have a week to live," she said. "It raises these questions, like, 'How do you give someone a bus pass for 30 years?' A lot of policy needs to be reassessed -- what is 'need,' what is 'critical need,' who is 'medically qualified?'" Ninety-one cents of every dollar donated to AFAN is used to help clients.

Theresa King is one of those being helped by AFAN. As a client for more than a decade, she regards the staff as family. "There was a time when I thought I was going to die," she said. Instead, she is moving into a new apartment secured by AFAN.

Back to other news for May 2011

Adapted from:
Las Vegas Sun
04.24.2011; April Corbin


  
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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.
 
See Also
More News and Articles on HIV Groups and Medical Care in Western U.S. States

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