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Criminalization of HIV
Public and Private Benefits: Access to Health Care
AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania Expands to South Jersey
A tangle of legal issues can sometimes prevent people with HIV and AIDS from getting the help they need to survive.
To ensure that people with HIV and AIDS in South Jersey have access to free legal services, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania announced effective March 1 that it has expanded into the region, creating the AIDS Law Project of Southern New Jersey.
The program that previously provided those services faced an uncertain future when All About Hope, which administered it, recently closed its doors, a prospect that alarmed AIDS advocates.
The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania created the program in South Jersey in the mid-1990’s and maintained a relationship with it through the years.
This month, the relationship rises to a new level as the New Jersey program comes under the umbrella of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. The expansion brings considerable additional firepower to South Jersey, with the AIDS Law Project’s 26 years of experience in HIV and AIDS legal issues and its nationally recognized team of staff attorneys, paralegals, support staff and volunteer attorneys.
“Free legal services for people with HIV and AIDS are vital and we wanted to be sure they continued in South Jersey,” said Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania.
Charlotte Hollander, the sole staff attorney for the New Jersey AIDS Law Project, said she is excited about the expansion. She will continue to work out of offices at Kennedy Health System’s HIV/AIDS Clinic in Voorhees and Cooper Health System’s Early Intervention Program in Camden.
Hollander said housing legal services in a health care clinic has great advantages for clients, offering them one-stop shopping for their needs.
“There’s a tremendous need in South Jersey,” Hollander said. “The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania has resources that I didn’t have before.”
The South Jersey office will work on legal issues including public and private benefits, discrimination, housing and utilities, medical confidentiality and financial matters. Bilingual services also will be available in South Jersey.
Pam Gorman, administrative director at the Cooper program, described the legal services as “invaluable” and was a strong supporter of making sure the organization survived.
“I’m thrilled that these services are continuing,” Gorman said.
For more information about the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, click here.