Commentary

Regional HIV Clinic Coming

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By Richard Davis

TFW Staff Writer

Benton County is officially on board — finally — to partner with Washington County in the creation of the Northwest Arkansas Regional HIV Clinic.

The Benton County Quorum Court’s vote of approval Thursday night has the county officially putting its money where its mouth is after months of discussions and a third and final reading of an ordinance backing the project.

Result: Big Win! No doubt this is great news for HIV patients in both counties to have a regional clinic they can count on. The regional push began a couple years after some testy comments between Benton and Washington county justices of the peace over the issue. Washington County officials felt Benton County wasn’t committed enough — including financially — to the HIV clinic when that county’s residents accounted for almost 40 percent of the patients. Luckily, any tempers cooled quickly, talks ensued and everyone finally came together to do the right thing.

Now if we can just keep crazed budget slashers at the federal level from gutting funding to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which promotes programs to keep people from getting HIV in the first place, we’ll really have a WIN! on our plate.

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