Council helps expand HIV/AIDS treatment as need for services increases

March 03, 2009

Akron City Council passed legislation authorizing the city's Director of Health to enter into a $350,000 contract with nonprofit Violet's Cupboard Inc. for expanded primary care services for HIV/AIDS patients in underserved communities.

With the extra funding, the Health Department and Violet's Cupboard together can add more care personnel to provide more services to Akron-area patients. Expanded services include:  HIV counseling; advanced testing technologies; outreach, eligibility assistance and case management; education; and even dental and nutrition services.

Council's Health and Social Service Committee Chair, Renee Greene, said the legislation authorizing the contract could not have come at a better time, when HIV/AIDS cases and uninsured residents are growing simultaneously in the city.

 "I received startling information that in the state of Ohio, the 44320 zip code contains the fastest-growing population with HIV," said Greene (W-4).  "That could translate into more people seeking services from Violet's Cupboard. It's good to know that this contract will be implemented immediately to prevent lapses and offer expanded services to people living with HIV/AIDS."

A United Way agency, Akron-based Violet's Cupboard helps persons living in Summit, Medina, Portage, Stark, Holmes, Carroll, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties with support, education and counseling for HIV/AIDS-related matters.