ELYSIAN PARK (CBSLA.com) — The Chris Brownlie Hospice, once used as the city's first hospice for AIDS patients, was turned back over to the city Saturday.
A memorial celebration was held to honor the facility for the service it provided from 1988 to 1996 as a nursing home for people dying from diseases caused by the HIV virus.
The building had a long history of helping the sick. The hospice once housed the nurses dormitory for the city's Barlow Respiratory Hospital, a tuberculosis sanitarium.
AIDS patients have benefited from recent advances in drug therapies that have ended the one-time death sentence for the HIV virus.
Since 1996, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has used the hospice for offices.
At today's service, the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus was expected to perform in memory of the hundreds who died there, including 140 chorus members.
Seven balloons -- one for each year the hospice was in business -- were also to be released at sunset.
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