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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998
 

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@00I AH d,ws] . 8I d.mltl ,sbi-t&apos;;I ,TTX"X&D q[&D - be. CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 13 - March 19, 1998 - 37 AIDS patients jump through hoops for services By Scan C. Venable When the little AIDS service organization with which I am as- sociated began in the early 1990s, it was "birthed" from the notion that the larger agencies, including local government, were seemingly not providing the services needed by people living with AIDS. While this was certainly true in many respects, in retrospect, it is apparent that the organization re- ally came about because of the perception that AIDS services were suddenly being supplied by nonclient-empowered, noncom- munity-based, unpalatable bu- reaucracies. Somehow, under the yoke of the latter organizations, the view came about that so-called "AIDS victims" did not have enough good brain cells to direct the ser- vices being provided for them, the very services that came about be- cause of them. From that view, there evolved today's, very 1990s, hard-to-swal- low "play along, get along" atti- tude of service providers. Nowhere is this more obvious than the programs provided by these people - programs that at- tempt to control clients by assert- ing burdensome ru, les and report- ing requirements, thus requiring clients to jump through hoops to get services. Here's an example: A few weeks ago I was sitting in a meet- ing of a committee composed of representatives of various state and private organizations. We were discussing AIDS housing programs, and one of the representatives complained that the reporting requirements for the client were oppressive. The chairperson of the commit- tee quickly responded "...well, these people [people living with HIV/AIDS] know they have to pay a price .... " What? Bosom Buddies to meet March 17 at Beebe Beebe Medical Center will sponsor Bosom Buddies, for women living with breast cancer, whether newly diagnosed, cur- rently undergoing treatment or longtime survivors, at 3 p.m. Fitness Til ) ol'lhc XVcck BURN THOSE CALORIES: WALK Walking, when combined with a good, low-fat, nutritious diet, can be a very effective way to lose weight and fat. Walking 0 to 60 minutes each day can greatly im- prove your metabolic rate. Submitted by Robert Cairo, licensed physical therapist, Tidewater Physical Therapy, 945-511 I. The idea that people struggling with AIDS or any catastrophic ill- ness, for that matter, would have to ask, "how high for services?" absolutely horrifies me. This notion essentially penal- izes and punishes clients for their disease. Although probably a po- litical-right-approved notion, to me it's downright barbaric. In addition, too often we see agencies with a high client census, but few clients being referred to other agencies for appropriate and/or much-needed services. Furthermore, and regrettably, all of the above has done nothing but encumber our efforts in the public arena to combat the AIDS pandemic by essentially rendering our clients "personas non grata" and putting them amongst "the great disenfranchised." By abandoning and/or diluting the client-based tenets of service provision of the 1980s - that all people have a right to without reprisal and penalty - to dignified and respectful services, regardless of who they are and the length of treatment, we have gone awry. Certainly, the alternative to client/community-based service provision - for-profit provider agencies - would not be the way to go. The for-profits may have very limited experience with HIV/AIDS, and we would run the risk of a lack of commitment to the special needs of the HIV/AIDS community. What can we do? If we ever hope to conquer this disease, we must first make sure that AIDS service organizations are accountable: AIDS service providers evaluate their program menus for adaptation, expertise and palatability and that they redi- rect their focus to clients, where it belongs. every third Tuesday. The next meeting will be held on March 17. Call 645-3770 for more informa- tion. Cancer group meeting set at Epworth Church The next meeting of the support group Cancer in Common is Tues- daF, March 17, at 7 p.m., at Ep- worth United Methodist Church, 20 Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth Beach. The group's purpose is to provide a Christian environment for people whose lives have been touched by cancer. The group al- so welcomes new ideas for reach- ing out to persons dealing with the affects of cancer. Meetings are open to anyone who is a cancer survivor or currently fighting can- cer, and those close to them. For more information, call the group's coordinator, Kaye Webb, at 645-9711. Second, by polling the HIVI AIDS community and giving them a complete menu of services currently available or in the off- ing, services to be provided by the AIDS service organizations would be enumerated and supported by an informed community. Next, I believe some fundamen- tal changes needs to be made in AIDS service organizations as fol- lows: Create agencies that are client-empowered and communi- ty-based by staffing the boards with the population to be served; Ensure that the lion's share of money raised is spent on direct client services, rather than on salaries or overhead; Make these agencies cultur- ally sensitive, and thus famil- iar; Coordinate agency-to- agency services fairly so that we don't duplicate VENABLE services, and Editor's note: Sean Venable is an administrator for P.L.Active, an AIDS support organization. the work is evenly distributed and getting done; Make services comprehensive so they provide continuity; Make rules and requirements more flexible and less oppressive, always keeping in mind that agen- cies are supposed to be providing FREE ANONYMOUS HIV TESTING every Thursday Sussex County AIDS Committee, Inc. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY services, not standing in the way of provision. For more information, read "S.O.S." by Sean Strub, in "POZ Magazine," March 1998 edition, or check the APLA Catalyst Web site at <http://www.apla.org/apla/ publcn.html>. c], Why I am a Doctor of 00ropract00c Because I honor the inborn potential of everyone to be truly healthy. Because I desire to help the newborn, the aged, and those without hope. Because I choose to care for the patient with the disease, not the disease. Because I wish to assist rather than intrude; to free rather than control. Because I seek to correct the cause, not its effect. Because I know doctors do not heal, only the body can heal itself. Because I have been called to serve others. Because I want to make a difference. Because everyday I get to witness miracles. .00eCaHSe I know it is right. DR. DEBRA A. HOBBS