HICKORY, N.C. — An AIDS service organization has received a $1,000 grant to benefit outreach, education and prevention efforts in Watauga County.

AIDS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance (ALFA), based in Hickory, serves most of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountain and foothills region including Watauga County, home to the Town of Boone and Appalachian State University.

The small grant from the Watauga County Community Foundation is meant to assist HIV prevention education, testing and referral targeting high-risk groups.

“This project will result in early detection, quick entry into care and provide HIV/STD prevention education for more individuals in our region,” David Zealy, ALFA’s director of education and outreach, said in a release. “It will also offer clients easier access to comprehensive medical care, medical case management and support services.“

The monies will also be used to enhance medical care and medical case management with those people who are infected with HIV.

ALFA recently hosted their annual Hike for Hope, an AIDS walk-style fundraiser in Morganton, N.C. The event raised $22,000.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

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