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State budget cuts cause HIV/AIDS services to suffer

AIDS Ribbon
AIDS Ribbon
Photo courtesy Sully Pixel

Amigos Sin Barreras/Friends Without Barriers (Amigos), a non-profit organization based in Redondo Beach, has been serving men and women affected by HIV/AIDS since 1995.  They are in trouble.

Amigos operates a food pantry, they supply nutritious hot meals for patients who are home-bound, offer grief counseling,  job searches, and everyday social interaction to a population that due to chronic illness, often finds itself isolated and lonely. 

Amigos also works in conjunction with United Methodist Church in Redondo Beach, where each Thursday, clients get together for a hot lunch and various holistic treatments such as yoga and accupressure, helping to alleviate symptoms of HIV/AIDS such as peripheral neuropathy, headaches, anxiety and muscle pain,

According to the Key Indicators of Health report, in 2009, 22 out of 100,000 residents in the South Bay were infected with HIV/AIDS - the second highest infection rate of 8 county regions in the Los Angeles area. That is twice the county average.  However, due to the state's current financial crisis, approximately $85 million in state funding was removed from the budget this year, including an 80% reduction for HIV education and prevention, a 70% reduction for HIV counseling and testing, and a 50% reduction for home based care.  

This month, Amigos received the bad news it would not be receiving a grant from the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, that would normally fund a quarter of its yearly $123,000 budget.

To help raise funds to help keep the food bank and other services going, there will be a dinner and silent auction on Saturday, April 17th from 6 - 9 p.m.   The cost is $50.  For more information, or to RSVP, call  310-540-1344.


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