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Ohio's Largest AIDS Agencies Merging

The state's two largest agencies that help people with HIV and AIDS are combining. The Columbus AIDS Task Force says it's not very financially sound, but it has a sterling reputation for helping people find the services they need. The Dayton-based AIDS Resource Center Ohio, or ARC Ohio, is known for being financially sound. Administrators say that's why they're merging. The two groups will merge their offices beginning in July and will operate under the ARC Ohio name to offer HIV and AIDS services to 62 Ohio counties, including many rural areas in southern Ohio that officials say are now underserved. Much of the money used for HIV and AIDS services comes from the federal and state governments, although both agencies say a possible dip in government funding did not force the merger. The governor's proposed budget cuts several other outreach agencies but largely spares HIV and AIDS services.