June 2, 2011
From AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)
As we mark the 30th year since the first documented report of HIV and AIDS, I’m very proud to announce news of APLA’s next major initiative: We have begun renovations to a new, 6,800-square-foot space in South Los Angeles, which will house our full range of HIV prevention and testing programs. Services at the new site, which will open this summer, will target those at greatest risk of infection: gay men of color, youth, men who use crystal methamphetamine and other substances, and Native Americans / Alaska Natives.
Our commitment to the South Los Angeles area is not new. The region is one of the most vulnerable, under-resourced, and disproportionately HIV-affected in the nation. That’s why we initially chose to locate one of our Necessities of Life Program (NOLP) food pantries there and why the area was one of the first stops for our mobile dental clinic, offering low- or no-cost care to South Los Angeles residents who are living with HIV and AIDS.
In 2009, we expanded our reach by opening the S. Mark Taper Foundation Center, a permanent food pantry and dental clinic in the heart of South Los Angeles. Our ribbon-cutting was a hopeful moment for a neighborhood that, just two years prior, experienced the tragic closure of Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center -- the area’s largest healthcare resource.
Now, with the opening of our new site, we continue to bring resources to address the most urgent need.
And that’s just phase one. In the near future, we plan to expand services at the new location to address gay men’s health and wellness issues, not just HIV prevention.
Over the coming months, keep up with our progress through future issues of Optimist, and our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube networks. And please consider a special contribution to help as we renovate the new space. Donate now— and remember that private gifts continue to power most of our work.
This is yet another critical step in our work to end HIV in Los Angeles. Thirty years of AIDS -- and 30 million dead worldwide -- is more than enough.
Thank you for joining us.
Craig E. Thompson
© 2011 USC Annenberg