12/28/08 — HIV a growing concern in Wayne County

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HIV a growing concern in Wayne County

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 28, 2008 2:00 AM

With HIV and AIDS a growing concern in Wayne County, grant funding is being targeted to increase education and assistance for those dealing with the disease, Health Director James Roosen told the Board of Health last week.

"There are over 300 people in Wayne County that are HIV-positive and another 25 to 30 percent at least that are out there that we don't know about," he said.

A full-time HIV/AIDS case manager is "desperately" needed, he added.

"We have got to have that as a goal, and we do in our strategic plan for next year," Roosen said.

With that in mind, the Health Department's strategic plan will be presented in a public forum as part of next month's board meeting, planned for Jan. 21 at 12:15 p.m. Its location will move to the Wayne Center to accommodate the larger audience anticipated.

In the meantime, the Health Department has been fortunate to tap into some funding resources, Roosen said.

"Two months ago we were notified of some grant funding for HIV/STD prevention for HIV education, testing and outreach," he said.

Ideas were solicited from the community as to best uses of the two-year grant valued at $17,500 -- non-traditional HIV testing and followup care for hIV positive patients.