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County Warned Against More Mental Health Cuts

A group of doctors and counselors warned Thursday that Los Angeles County could face more cases like the AIDS patient who committed suicide in a Mid-City shelter earlier this week if the Board of Supervisors approves further drastic cuts in mental health programs.

Claiming that the county has few facilities that can simultaneously provide for both the physical and mental needs of AIDS patients, the mental health advocates said that those gripped by AIDS-related dementia would be even more at risk if the county proceeds with $41.9 million in funding cutbacks.

On Tuesday, as the county held hearings into the threatened cutbacks, Alberto Alvizuri, 34, an AIDS patient at the Casa de Nuestra Senora shelter, opened fire at staffers in the residence and then at police before fatally shooting himself in the head.

Shelter workers said Alvizuri had been gripped by worsening toxoplasmosis and AIDS dementia.

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