New AIDS Group Focusing on Over-50 Population Prompts Concerns of ‘Splintering’ in Connecticut HIV Education Community
The creation of new "fledgling" not-for-profit AIDS advocacy groups, such as the Hartford, Conn.-based AIDS Coalition for Heterosexual Testing Now (ACHT Now), has some "longtime" HIV/AIDS activists have become concerned that organizers are "reinventing the wheel" by targeting already-served populations and hindering universal AIDS fundraising, the Hartford Courant reports. Although most AIDS advocates welcome those who want to assist in AIDS prevention and treatment efforts, AIDS Project Hartford Executive Director Paul Botticello said that groups "need to merge; we don't need to splinter." With a $1,250 grant from the Knox Foundation, ACHT Now's first-year plan is to deliver free presentations at senior centers around Connecticut on the importance of testing and early diagnosis. The percentage of those over the age of 50 who are diagnosed with AIDS is increasing, but longtime AIDS service organizations call this information "old news" and say that AIDS Project Hartford and AIDS Project New Haven already serve the older population. But Ellen Foley, founder of ACHT Now, defended her actions as necessary and said that the small size of her group allows them to "pound on the doors of senior centers and stir interest" (Condon, Hartford Courant, 4/28). To listen to an interview by WNPR, a Connecticut NPR affiliate, with Foley regarding her plans for ACHT Now, click here. Note: You must have RealPlayer to listen to this interview.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.