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Santa Fe Springs : Latino AIDS Project

March 27, 1986

Despite some uncertainty about its funding from Los Angeles County, a Santa Fe Springs-based organization is moving forward with plans to distribute information about AIDS to the Latino community through three conferences and a poster contest.

John Brown, executive director of Rio Hondo Community Action Network, formerly known as Rio Hondo Drug Counseling Services Inc., said a panel to review AIDS materials, which was a last-minute requirement for funding, has been assembled and needs approval by the federal Centers for Disease Control before the network's $15,000 grant can be funded.

The organization is one of five in Los Angeles County due to receive grants to distribute information about AIDS among Latinos. The grants are administered by the county Department of Health Services for the federal agency. Brown said final approval of the grants by the Board of Supervisors should come in late April. The grant was due for approval in mid-February, but the requirement for a review panel delayed board action.

Brown said that, although funding is likely, the late start will mean a lot of work to review and gather materials in time for the conferences in which Latino community leaders are to receive information packets to distribute in their communities.

"We're crossing our fingers. One more little mess-up and there could be a problem," Brown said. An advisory committee was established to review materials on AIDS and develop new ones where information gaps exist. He said all work by that committee has been delayed until the grant is approved.

The organization, which also has an office in Norwalk, has scheduled three conferences in Santa Fe Springs, on May 30, June 6 and June 13. The Pasadena Art Center College of Design will preside over the poster contest and display the winning poster in its gallery the week of May 20, Brown said.

The percentage of Latinos with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which destroys the body's immune system and leaves it defenseless against infections, has nearly doubled in the past two years, from 7% to 13%.

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