Rural Areas of Georgia Seek Funding to Open Three HIV/AIDS Care Clinics
Georgia's South Central Health District is applying for federal funding to open three HIV/AIDS care clinics that would target Middle Georgia's rural population, the Macon Telegraph reports. The Ryan White CARE Act Title III grant would provide the clinics with funds for early intervention and primary care programs. The three facilities would also work with
community-based organizations to provide a number of services, including medical care and medication, HIV/AIDS education services, mental health care, substance abuse treatment and even legal services, Project Manager Connie McMillin said. Connie Copeland, director of nursing for the South Central Health District, said more clinics serving rural areas are needed. "Rural areas normally don't think that AIDS and HIV would be here, but it is. It's here and it's not going away," she said. She added that while the clinics will be located in Dublin, Eastman and McRae, she expects many patients from other areas to visit the clinics. "People are going to cross county lines. Because of the stigma that goes along with AIDS, they want to remain anonymous," she said. While there are close to 200 reported HIV and AIDS cases in the district, those figures could be much lower than the actual number of infected people, the Telegraph reports. "Nobody is sure exactly (how many) HIV-positive cases there are," McMillin said. The grant application will be submitted in July, and officials should know whether it has been approved by September. If approved, the clinics could open by the end of next year (Manley, Macon Telegraph, 12/21).
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