By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com May 24 2003 12:00 AM ET
The Boston Diocese of the Catholic Church announced this week that the diocese on June 30 will close its Office of AIDS Ministry that currently operates four residential shelters for HIV-positive people, The Boston Globe reports. Each of the four centers will continue to operate independently after the ministry closes, and will be responsible for coordinating their own medical, economic, and mental health assistance programs that had been handled by the ministry. All speaking and educational programs conducted by the ministry for area churches and Catholic schools will end. Ministry director Sister Zita Fleming said the closure is reflective of the growing sense that HIV antiretroviral medications have turned AIDS from a "death sentence" into a manageable chronic disease. "But I don't want to imply that the epidemic is over, because it's not," she added.