The Niagara County, N.Y., AIDS case management program has been cut from the county's 2003 budget, leaving about 60 HIV-positive people in the county without case management services, The Buffalo News reports. Five staff positions will be eliminated, including that of case management director Paul LaDouceur. Clients will receive letters announcing the closure before the end of the month.
"We'll be breaking down the program and letting the clients know what their options are so they have their needs met and won't be left with nothing," LaDouceur said.
Two community HIV/AIDS service groups, AIDS Community Services of Western New York, located in Buffalo, and Circle of Hope Center, based in Lockport, have expressed an interest in taking over the case management services for existing clients, but no new clients will be accepted after January 1. New applicants will be referred to other community-based groups, according to Wanda Smiley, director of patient services for the Niagara County health department.