The announcement this week by a consortium of AIDS education organizations that two of its largest outreach centers must close by fall threatens to withdraw needed services from thousands of city residents most at risk of contracting and spreading the deadly virus.

Consortium leaders said Tuesday that funding for two programs has dried up, forcing a three-year-old outreach center at 14th and U streets NW to close as well as a two-year-old one at 2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.

They said the closings will strand nearly 2,500 drug users, prostitutes and other high-risk people now receiving regular counseling, HIV testing and AIDS education at the two centers

"If this program closes and there is nothing to replace it, not only will Anacostia suffer, but the whole D.C. area, especially IV drug users," said Marjorie Hawkins, director of Project CLEAN, which funds the center in Southeast.

"It's clear we've made a tremendous impact on the people we've worked with," said Beck Young, director of Project S.A.F.E, which operates the 14th Street center. "If these programs should fold, the District would lose one-third of its {AIDS} outreach programs."

Both projects were established with funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse as demonstration projects aimed at reaching drug addicts and their sexual partners, informing them about AIDS prevention techniques, inviting them to go to the centers for counseling and HIV testing and tracking their progress.

Institute officials said the research programs were funded for a limited time and that time is over. Project S.A.F.E. is funded through July; Project CLEAN through September. Institute officials said both programs have asked for grant renewals, which are now under consideration.

D.C. officials said leaders of both programs have asked for the city's help, and city funds allowed Project CLEAN to be extended from July through September. Georges Benjamin, the D.C. commissioner of public health, said the city is unlikely to fund these centers further, but hopes to develop a larger street outreach program to target the same areas.

The city allocated almost $6 million for AIDS programs in fiscal 1990.

More than 2,300 people have been diagnosed with AIDS in the District and 1,415 people here have died from the disease since 1980, according to the most recent figures provided by the D.C. Public Health Commission.

Consortium leaders say its 11 programs are now reaching 130 sites from drug markets to crack houses and "shooting galleries."

The outreach workers, most of them recovered drug addicts, distribute pamphlets about AIDS and substance abuse, condoms and vials of liquid bleach to clean syringes used for drug injections. They also encourage people to go to the centers for counseling and HIV testing and offer referrals for drug-treatment programs, job training centers, prenatal and postnatal clinics and other social services.

Coordinators at Project S.A.F.E. and Project CLEAN said their workers have provided AIDS information to more than 7,000 high-risk people.

"When we close down, unless someone comes and picks up the slack, people are going to die," said Hawkins, of Project CLEAN.

Outreach workers said they try to develop a trusting relationship with drug users.

"People come in and sit down and have a place where people care about them," said Beverly Fleming, a recovered addict who works part time at Project S.A.F.E. "Since I come off the streets, they see me as an inspiration," she said. "People will come up to me and say, 'Boy, you sure look good!' and I'll say, 'You can do the same thing.' "

While the primary goal of the projects is education about AIDS, outreach workers said they often find themselves talking to at-risk individuals about their drug problems, family life, pregnancy and a variety of other issues.

"Street outreach programs are an excellent example of a program that targets many problems at one time," Young said. "There's been a 50 percent reduction in drug usage when that isn't even the primary focus of the problem."

Hawkins said she will try to establish a nonprofit organization to provide the same services as Project CLEAN and appeal to private sources for funding.