ACCESS Network Director Wins Award for AIDS Work in South Carolina
Jerry Binns, executive director of The ACCESS Network, an Okatie, S.C.-based AIDS group that serves the greater Charleston area, recently received an award from the South Carolina HIV/STD Conference for his "significan[t]" contributions to local AIDS work, the Associated Press reports. The ACCESS Network provides support groups, HIV testing, prevention education, free "HIV-sensitive food" and other services to people affected by HIV/AIDS in the South Carolina counties of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper and Allendale -- an area known as the Lowcountry. Binns formed the network in the mid-1980s after finding that Lowcountry residents did not have much access to AIDS education or services. He assembled a group called the Lowcountry AIDS Task Force to address the problem in the community. "By having an AIDS-only organization, we had the idea that maybe the community in the Lowcountry would acknowledge that there is an issue here. It's not just somewhere else," Binns said. The group initially focused on young people, but gradually expanded its scope and services. In 1994, the group became the ACCESS Network. The ACCESS Network, which served more than 200 clients last year, operates on a $500,000 annual budget, 75% of which comes from federal grants (Marble, Associated Press, 11/14).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.