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Harlem residents
protest planned AIDS center

Harlem residents
protest planned AIDS center

A planned 14,000-square-foot AIDS center slated to open in April in the Harlem district of New York City is drawing fire from area residents who say it is going to harm revitalization efforts, boost crime rates, and have an adverse effect on area businesses, The New York Times reports. The center, to be located at 116th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, would serve about 150 HIV-positive clients. But some Harlem residents worry that many of those clients will be injection-drug users, which could bring an unwanted element into a neighborhood that has been the focus of revitalization efforts.

"This will set us back 30 years," Henry Calderon, president of the East Harlem Chamber of Commerce, told the Times. Calderon is not alone in his opposition to the center: Community Board 11, a local advisory body, has passed a resolution opposing the center, and state assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV says that while he supports the center's mission, he does not agree with its planned location.

Supporters of the center say that it is vital that it be located in the heart of the city's African-American community as studies have shown blacks to be disproportionately affected by HIV. City research also shows the neighborhood where the clinic is set to open has the second-highest HIV infection rate in New York City, second only to the Chelsea section of the city that is home to a large gay male population. (

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