The Prince George's County Council appropriated nearly $150,000 in its budget last week to establish an education, counseling and testing center for residents suffering from AIDS.

The center, which will be in place by July 1, reflects stepped-up efforts here to accommodate the demands of the growing number of AIDS cases in Prince George's County, which has reported 134 cases, the second highest number in the state, said county AIDS coordinator Maureen McCleary. Of those cases, 84 people have died.

The AIDS office plans to launch an advertising campaign promoting the use of condoms to help protect against contracting acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Noting that similar efforts in other areas have been controversial, McCleary said Prince George's has been hesitant in starting such a campaign. But the disease has reached such a high level that officials feel compelled to push harder on the issue, she said.

"Unless you spell out for people exactly the message you want them to hear, you will leave terms such as 'safe sex' up to them to interpret," she said. "When it comes to a communicable disease like AIDS, we can no longer let the public do that."

Last year, the county established McCleary's job to coordinate county health department efforts in counseling and treatment of AIDS patients. The demand for services has increased steadily, McCleary said.

"Testing has increased 200 percent in the past year," McCleary said. "This year we have twice as many AIDS victims {as} we had last year, so there is an increased demand for case management . . . . We are seeing a whole different picture today than a year ago."

This year the office will receive $196,439, including about $38,000 from the state, for five positions devoted to the care of AIDS patients and their families. The center will develop educational materials, increase testing and seek county facilities that could be used for future AIDS patients.

Montgomery County's program is similar to that being launched in Prince George's, but Montgomery last year budgeted $80,000 to contract the volunteer services of the statewide Health Education Resource Organization (HERO). HERO's 500 volunteers run a seven-day-a-week AIDS hot line that receives more than 900 calls a week, and they conduct an extensive outreach program to community residents and the county school system.

AIDS was reported in the United States in the early 1980s. Since then, more than 35,000 AIDS cases have been reported nationally; more than half of those people have died.

It is estimated that AIDS Related Complex (ARC), another form of the disease that generally is not as severe but can in some cases be fatal, has affected more than 10 times the number of people with AIDS.

In Maryland, only Baltimore has more reported cases than Prince George's.

Officials, using the national models for determining the number of cases, suspect that at least 900 ARC cases exist in the county and that 11,000 of Prince George's 700,000 residents have been exposed to the AIDS virus. Of those,, officials estimate that a quarter of them will develop AIDS within five to 10 years.

"Nobody really knows for sure what is going to happen down the road because we only have seven years of data," McCleary said.