Officials of the Desert AIDS Project said the nonprofit laid off five medical assistants Friday in order to hire workers with the skills needed to run two new clinics. The new hepatitis and human papillomavirus testing clinics will launch within six months at the main Palm Springs campus, said DAP CEO David Brinkman. Individuals with the skills to work with HPV and hepatitis typically are registered nurses with four-year degrees, he said. To free up resources to hire them, DAP had to lay off the medical assistants, who generally have one-year degrees, Brinkman said. The number of new hires will be less than the number of people let go, he noted, but because the new workers will have higher salaries and benefits, their cost may exceed that of the laid-off employees. Brinkman added that as more patients live longer with HIV/AIDS, they face additional health threats from HPV and hepatitis.
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