The board of Phoenix-based AIDS Project Arizona, one of the state's oldest AIDS service organizations, on Monday announced that the agency has closed and the planned November 7 AIDS walk to be held as a fund-raiser for APAZ has been canceled, the East Valley Tribune reports. The agency had run into financial problems that led to its closing, board officials say. APAZ's programs and files have been turned over to Maricopa County and state officials. Other regional AIDS groups are trying to absorb the 2,500 clients of the organization, who received direct services and support services for themselves and their families. APAZ officials say the group relied heavily on government funding, which had been cut in recent years. The organization also suffered from leadership changes, staff turnover, and a backlash in the gay community. To cover its final payroll, APAZ used money donated for the planned November AIDS walk to pay the final paychecks for about 20 staff members, all of whom were laid off.
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