The Season of Giving and CLASS

The Central Louisiana AIDS Support Services needs your help. Executive Director Ann Lowry explains:

This year has been particularly hard at our agency. Many of my employees have worked at CLASS as long as I have (7 years). This year alone, we watched 20 clients at our agency die from this disease. We lost 17 clients in 2005. It might surprise you to know that more than half of those who died were women, many of whom left behind children. It is particularly heartbreaking for us because we know our clients so well that it feels like losing a family member.
Our agency serves more than 300 people who are infected with HIV. Sixty percent of our clients are women. We are fortunate that advances in perinatal treatment have greatly reduced the number of children who are born HIV positive; however, we do have 2 children who have contracted this virus from their mothers (both are orphans). We also provide supportive services to more than 100 children who are affected by this disease because a parent is infected.
Our clients come from all walks of life. Some work, some don’t, some can’t. Some are white, some are black. Nearly all of the women contracted the disease through heterosexual contact. Some of the men did too. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about who gets HIV. HIV does not discriminate.
Our agency provides case managment services, medication, transportation, housing and utility assistance, support groups, free HIV testing, education, and HIV prevention counseling, all in an effort to help keep our clients healthy themselves, to reduce the risk that our clients will infect someone else, and to educate the community about HIV. We also operate a food bank for our clients. We rely primarily on grants to operate, but many of our grants do not allow us to provide for many of the basic needs of our clients, all of whom live in EXTREME POVERTY.
CLASS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Any donation you care to make would be fully tax-deductible. There are lots of ways you can help.
You can:
1) Write a check;
2) Adopt a needy family for Christmas or year round;
3) Donate food, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items to our pantry;
4) Donate a few blankets, towels, sheets, electric heaters;
5) Drop off your gently worn clothing, especially CHILDREN’s coats,
or buy a new one or two.
Those are just a few ideas. You may have others.
Of the many worthwhile charities in Alexandria, CLASS is often overlooked. If you are able to help CLASS without neglecting your favorite charitable organizations, I would be forever grateful.

CLASS is located at:
904 13th St
Alexandria, LA 71301
(318) 442-1010

2 thoughts

  1. The recent news reports of alleged sexual activities that occured at Buhlow Lake serve to emphasize the need for our community to address its collective ideas about who is at risk for contracting HIV.

    Forget what you think you know about who is contracting this disease. This pandemic is growing among heterosexual women at an alarming rate, and the increase often has nothing to do with the sexual behavior of the women themselves. Yet, those infected with HIV continue to suffer the stigma and discrimination that surround this disease.

    I am disheartened by today’s news reports, but I hope that folks will realize that risky sexual behavior is pervasive in our community and the ramifications of this type of sexual activity often extend far beyond those who are active participants in the risky behavior.

    I want to make it clear that I do not know, nor would I disclose if I did, the HIV status of any of the men alleged to have participated in risky sexual behavior at Buhlow Lake. My point is this……What is the likelihood that a man in a committed relationship wears a condom with his regular partner after he has engaged in unprotected sex with someone else?
    And isn’t it shameful that we as a society continue to shun or pass judgment on those who are infected with HIV.

    If you don’t know your HIV status, I encourage you to get tested. CLASS offers FREE, confidential and anonymous HIV testing at its offices located at 904 13th Street. You will get your results in 20 minutes.

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