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BY BTL staff
The HIV/AIDS Alliance of Michigan (HAAM), originally founded in 1985, has been reactivated by its core member AIDS service organizations around the state and have contracted with Wiener Associates, a Lansing based full service governmental affairs law firm, to provide lobbying and consulting services. Elizabeth L. Weihl, partner at Wiener Associates, will work with the organization, whose members include HIV/AIDS Resource Center in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, Wellness AIDS Services serving Flint and Genessee County, Lansing Area AIDS Network, CARES based in Kalamazoo and serving southwest Michigan, and AIDS Partnership Michigan servicing metropolitan Detroit.
The leaders have been monitoring changes within HIV/AIDS leadership, public policy and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the future of AIDS services in the state. The decision to reactivate was reached to provide a more impactful voice for providers and the clients they serve.
“We are very pleased, to once again collaborate as a group to provide a public venue for our positions and concerns about HIV/AIDS. It is an issue each agency feels total passion and commitment to. We bring a tremendous amount of knowledge to the table, and it is time we raised our voices again, particularly as the state of Michigan and the federal government works its way through health care reform. All the member agencies have been on the front line of one of this country’s most challenging and frightening health epidemics. We know a great deal from that experience, and are prepared to share our knowledge in a way no other group can,” said Barbara Murray, executive director of AIDS Partnership Michigan.
All the core member agencies currently provide wrap around services including medical case management, behavioral health services, patient navigators, early intervention services, HIV counseling, testing and risk reduction and syringe exchange. The member agencies are considered front line providers of highly targeted services with expertise in reaching high risk populations including sexual minorities, women, high risk young people, people of color, and parolees from the Michigan Department of Corrections.