PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Finding affordable housing and medical care can be difficult, especially for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Pulaski County officials want to make sure citizens living with these potentially life-threatening conditions have a stable environment, which can help lessen new cases of HIV and AIDS.

"It ensures people get the proper care that they need," Pulaski County Director of Community Services Fredrick Love said.

It's from the City of Little Rock Department of Housing and Neighborhood Programs that give these people access to housing and medical assistance.

"One component of this grant is a housing component. One component of this grant is a care component," Love said.

If they are getting treatment for their condition or if they seek care, they can get a voucher.

"Usually their medical bills are lower if they stay in care, but also the rate of spreading the disease is lower," Love said.

Community Health Centers of Arkansas has partnered to provide office space and access to health clinics. 

"If they are not in care, what we will be able to do is walk them down the hall to get them tested, get them into care," Love said.

Up to 50% of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are at risk of becoming homeless due to the cost of health care and medications, along with the risk of housing discrimination, according to the National Coalitional for the Homeless.

"If someone reports to us that they've been discriminated against because they have HIV and AIDS, we will be filing a Fair Housing Complaint."

The Arkansas Department of Health's 2017 report found there were  61 new AIDS cases and 102 new HIV cases in Pulaski County. 

Of the county population, the stage 3 AIDS prevalence was 902 while the HIV prevalence was 1,264.

Some programs that will be created include Permanent Housing Placement Services and Tenant-Based Rental Assistance. It will all start on October 1st. 

"We're trying to take down all the barriers," Love said.

For more information, you can call Pulaski County Community Services at 501-340-6157 or Community Health Centers of Arkansas at 501-374-2148.

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