AIDS Task Force Calls for Massive Effort

From United Press International

A massive effort must be undertaken to set up hospices and home health care for people afflicted with AIDS and to educate blacks and Latinos about the dangers of the deadly virus, a task force said Thursday.

An AIDS Project Los Angeles task force of the county's major health care providers has found an urgent need for health care for those AIDS patients who are well enough to go home from the hospital but too sick to care for themselves.

The task force's findings, which are being used to apply for a $2-million grant to set up new AIDS services, also found that too few AIDS-related services exist in the largely black and Latino areas of South-Central and East Los Angeles.

The black and Latino communities, which account for 14% and 13%, respectively, of the county's AIDS cases, still know too little about the disease because of an inadequate outreach program, the Rev. Albert Ogle, AID Project's director of planning, said.

Using $75,000 from Transamerica Life Cos. and $15,000 donated by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, AIDS Project arranged a study by representatives of more than 50 service providers, including County-USC Medical Center, the County Department of Health Services, the Episcopal Diocese and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

Apply for Funds

Paula Van Ness, AIDS Project executive director, said at a news conference that the findings form the basis of an application for $2 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. County Supervisor Ed Edelman said the county will apply for $2.2 million in federal matching grants.

The combined $4.2 million would be used over a four-year period to establish an AIDS Resource Center to set up a network of hospices, home health care and nursing facilities to care for AIDS patients, Van Ness said.

The staggering cost of caring for AIDS patients--$104,000 per person in Los Angeles County--makes it critical to set up such services, Van Ness said.

Robert Gates, director of the county Department of Health Services, said the need is urgent because of the number of AIDS cases, which was 1,832 as of June 9, according to figures obtained by the National Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

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