The number of deaths from AIDS in the District was reported incorrectly yesterday. Of the 252 cases reported, there have been 131 deaths.
A coalition of gay rights groups asked District Mayor Marion Barry yesterday for $1.5 million to handle the more than 200 new cases of AIDS expected in the city in the next year.
The coalition's request, which includes $500,000 in federal funds for testing for AIDS exposure, is $1.3 million more than the $175,000 the city has budgeted for acquired immune deficiency syndrome projects.
Meeting with coalition leaders last night, Barry promised he would meet with them again in 30 days to respond to their request.
Department of Human Services spokesman Charles Siegel said it is likely that the current budget, which represents a $110,000 increase over fiscal 1985, will be increased.
Citing public health figures that show that the number of AIDS cases has doubled in the last six months, the D.C. Committee on AIDS Issues predicts there will be a total of 465 cases of AIDS in the District by next October, an estimate it termed "conservative."
A total of 252 cases have been reported to District health authorities since 1983, according to Dr. Martin Levy, director of the District's Preventive Health Services Administration. Thirty-one city AIDS patients have died.
In a news conference after the coalition's meeting with the mayor, Public Health Commissioner Andrew McBride said the city's 1986 AIDS budget "represents what we knew 18 months ago about AIDS."
McBride, who credited the coalition with increasing the city's awareness of the growing demand for AIDS services, said AIDS has become a larger issue for the city because of the "public perception that now it's not just a gay disease."
Describing AIDS as "a major public health problem in the District," McBride said the city will begin a unified effort with the coalition to "attack this condition."
Bill Bogan, a spokesman for the group, said, "We should have been sitting with him Barry a year ago. Things have hit us quicker than we would have liked."
"The leadership of the gay community believes this money is essential to support local AIDS efforts," said Jim Graham, administrator of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which provides counseling, emergency housing and other support for AIDS patients. The clinic intends to open a second group home for AIDS patients in D.C. within two months because of a waiting list for space in its current home, Schwartz House.
The coalition asked the mayor to support three additional group homes for AIDS patients, housing assistance for 94 patients, an in-home care program for 76 people and a program to stress "safe sex" behavior to reduce the transmission of the AIDS virus.
"We believe now is the time to set into place programs that will be able to address this need in future years, when the numbers will be significantly greater," according to a statement issued by the coalition.
The coalition also is requesting that the city establish an AIDS Activities Office.
The city has several offices within the Preventative Health Services Administration that focus on specific health problems, including offices on high blood pressure, tuberculosis and teen-age pregnancy.
Most of the city's efforts on AIDS have involved grants to the Whitman-Walker Clinic for its AIDS hot line and public education projects, including a special effort aimed at informing blacks and Hispanics about the risks of AIDS.
In the fiscal year that ended last week, the Whitman-Walker Clinic received $62,500 from the D.C. Commission on Public Health and $45,000 from the federal government for its program to test blood for the AIDS virus. The clinic received most of its financial support -- $175,880 last year -- from community donations, chiefly from gay men's and women's groups. Volunteers also donated 24,352 hours of time to the clinic.
In their private meeting last night with Barry, coalition leaders requested:
* $427,000 for an in-care home program, patterned after a project in San Francisco, to hire home health aides for 20 hours a week and two visits by nurses twice a week for 76 people with AIDS.
* $400,000 for public education, especially paid advertising, to inform the public about AIDS.
* $226,500 for blood testing, a network of volunteer "buddies" for AIDS patients and other programs at the Whitman-Walker Clinic.
* $170,640 to subsidize rents of 94 AIDS patients, at an average cost of $316 a month, to allow them to remain in their homes. Many AIDS patients are unable to work and cannot continue to pay for their housing, Bogan said.
* $120,000 to establish three group homes to house 23 persons with AIDS.
* $113,370 to set up an AIDS Activities Office in the D.C. government.
* $100,000 to recruit 1,000 persons for sessions to educate them about safe sex practices.
* $24,000 to continue the Whitman-Walker AIDS hot line.
Several of the programs, such as the safe sex seminars, are in operation in San Francisco, New York and other cities. In the past, government offices have balked at printing materials dealing with safe sex techniques because of controversies about spending tax dollars for sexually explicit information.
But Bogan said resistance has eased "because people are aware the information must go out." McBride noted that in other public health education campaigns, the city has issued brochures aimed at specific risk groups. "We allow those kind of materials to be developed."
Although 40 gay activists from nearly a dozen groups met with the mayor, the coalition is composed primarily of the Capitol Area Republicans, Langston Hughes-Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, Gay Activists Alliance, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and the D.C. Coalition of Black Gay Men and Women.
Members of these gay groups worked in Barry's 1980 and 1984 mayoral campaigns.
Graham said the coalition was formed because of the strain on volunteers and agencies that provide help for District AIDS patients. "We're all getting flooded with requests for help," he said. "There has to be a more serious commitment of funds to deal with the problem."