Leroy P. Bias Jr. Helped AIDS victims

Services for Leroy P. Bias Jr., who spent his last years educating the public about AIDS and helping its victims, will be held at 10 a.m. today at Bethel A.M.E. Church, Druid Hill Avenue and Lanvale Street.

A resident of Parkview for the past 20 years, Mr. Bias died Wednesday of AIDS. He was 28.


He spoke often to church groups in the Baltimore-Washington area about living with acquired immune deficiency syndrome and ways of preventing infection. He helped AIDS patients do everything from obtain medicine to get out to the movies. When he was homebound with his illness, he provided support over the telephone for other victims.

"The brother helped me more than I think I helped him, and he was on his deathbed," said Luana M. Clark, 40, a support group leader at the Health Education Resources Organization.


She said Mr. Bias' work touched thousands of people.

"He had a way of introducing newcomers to the group with an inner warmth," said Ms. Clark, who said she also is infected with the AIDS virus. "Not so much the words, but you could feel that he meant what he said. As if he was saying, 'I'm sorry that you have the disease also, but there is hope.' "

He also worked with other support groups, including Quality of Life Retreats, Damien Ministries Retreats, Positive Power Support Group, the Be More Maryland Organization and the Black Educational AIDS Project.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Bias was a 1983 graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School, where he competed on the varsity basketball and wrestling teams. After high school, he worked for the Oles Envelope Corp. on 25th Street until he became ill in 1988.

He enjoyed playing basketball with neighborhood teams and singing in the Bethel A.M.E. Church choir. He also taught adults and teen-agers seeking their high school equivalency diplomas.

He is survived by his father, Leroy Bias Sr. of Edmondson Village; his mother, Jacqueline T. Smith of Parkview; a stepfather, William J. Smith of Parkview; and two brothers, Robert D. Bias of Parkview and Elroy Bias of East Baltimore.