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Group to Give Rides to AIDS Patients

Thanks to a successful fund-raising campaign, the Ventura County AIDS Partnership will provide transportation for east county patients who need rides to medical appointments in Ventura.

The group announced Monday it had reached its 1997 fund-raising goal of $85,000. A matching grant from the National AIDS Fund brought the total to $170,000.

The money will also go toward HIV-prevention programs and AIDS support services, said Art McDermott, program manager of the AIDS Partnership, a program of the United Way of Ventura County.

While people with AIDS are evenly distributed throughout the county, most AIDS services are in Ventura.

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“AIDS Care Inc. has received a contract from us to train organizations in the east county in HIV prevention and then those organizations, in turn, will use that training to reach out to their clients who may be at risk for HIV,” McDermott said.

The new transportation service will also be run through AIDS Care. It will be set up so a patient may set appointments with doctors, laboratories and case workers all in one day.

Although opening an east county facility offering all these services had been considered, it would be too costly, McDermott said.

“It’s less expensive to figure out how to get people to the clinic, rather than divide the limited amount of services among satellite clinics,” he said.

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