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Pittsburgh AIDS group celebrates 20th anniversary

Pittsburgh AIDS group celebrates 20th anniversary

The Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force is marking its 20th anniversary in March by refocusing on its roots of providing outreach programs to the poor and disenfranchised, including gay men and African-Americans, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports. The task force is forming partnerships with African-American groups to strengthen HIV education, testing, and treatment programs and is expanding its on-site prevention and education efforts at gay bars, youth centers, and even on the streets in areas at high risk for HIV transmissions, according to task force employees and volunteers. The task force launched in 1985 with a legal assistance and buddy program, focusing on delivering food to clients, helping them with errands and daily tasks like cleaning their homes, and offering comfort to seriously ill AIDS patients. Today, the task force serves about 800 clients per year with a wide variety of support and care programs and has a $1.8 million annual budget. The organization is set, however, to lose half its federal funding for some of its case management work next year due to budget cuts. The agency also shut down its annual AIDS walk fund-raiser in 2004 because of dwindling community interest in the event.

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