Monday, October 6, 2008
HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group Receives County Award
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities has selected the HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance, known as HALSA, to receive its Jane Small Advocacy Award at the upcoming annual awards luncheon, the free legal service provider announced yesterday in a release.
The event will be held Oct.20 20 at the Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens in Los Angeles.
HALSA provides free comprehensive civil legal services to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS; secures legal victories for those discriminated against in employment, healthcare, housing or schools; and advocates for the rights of people living with HIV in legislation and public policy.
Janet A. Neal, first vice president and events chair for the commission, praised HALSA’s commitment and dedication to improving access to primary healthcare and re-entry into the workplace.
“We were extremely impressed with their commitment to get individuals the services they need quickly without drawing out the process or adding cumbersome extra steps,” she said.
HALSA Executive Director Trip Oldfield said that the recognition “reminds us of the gains we have made in creating access to justice for the impoverished and disabled, but it also reaffirms our belief that our work is far from done.”
Oldfield estimated that there are more than 100,000 persons living with HIV & AIDS in Southern California, and that many of them are dealing with issues of discrimination and barriers to health care and benefits.
The organization, which began in 1986, claims to be the only group in Southern California dedicated solely to serving the legal needs of individuals and families living with HIV or AIDS. It began offering programs
Last year, HALSA provided more than 16,000 hours of free legal education, advice and representation to 1647 low-income HIV+ clients, the group said
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company