LAS VEGAS (December 18, 2013) – AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) opened its two newest domestic AHF Healthcare Centers with back-to-back dedication ceremonies on Dec. 18 in the Las Vegas area. The facilities will provide client-centered, specialized medical treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Local dignitaries including North Las Vegas City Councilman Isaac Barron and Community Outreach Manager for the City of North Las Vegas Kathi Thomas-Gibson attended the North Las Vegas ribbon cutting. Barron also presented AHF with a proclamation from the city honoring the new facility.
“Despite the tireless efforts of the existing HIV safety net of providers in the area, far too many people living with HIV in Clark County do not have access to the lifesaving care they need. These new healthcare centers will help fill that gap and support the work of organizations like our partner organization, the Nevada AIDS Project,” said Adam Ouderkirk, Senior Director of Program and Business Development for AHF. “Access to clinical care for people livings with HIV/AIDS, especially those with limited or no insurance, has been challenging in the greater Las Vegas area. Since AHF provides specialized care regardless of ability to pay, these new facilities will greatly increase the number of people who can receive the care to help them live well with this condition.”
“Increased access to HIV testing is the single most important step for turning the tide on HIV in Nevada,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF. “We are excited to remove obstacles for many by providing free testing through mobile testing vans and increased clinical opportunities for people to access free rapid testing.”
HIV/AIDS in Nevada
According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, there were 8,390 people living with HIV/AIDS in Nevada by the end of 2010, of which 7,105 were in Clark County. Men accounted for 83% of the total number of cases throughout the state, and 51.6% of the reported cases were in white people. The Southern Nevada Health District reported 26 new HIV infections in the southern region of the state in October 2013 alone. As of October 2013, there have been 340 HIV/AIDS diagnoses in southern Nevada, 226 of which were HIV infections and 2 of which were in children under the age of 13.
AHF Healthcare Centers aim to decrease the number of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses by providing free HIV testing so people can be aware of their status; immediate linkage into care – regardless of ability to pay – for those who test positive; and support through ongoing follow-ups to ensure adherence to a health regimen that will ultimately extend life expectancies and reduce the risk of transmission.
AHF operates more than 30 Healthcare Centers throughout the United States – in Florida, California, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C. – and many more in the countries where AHF works throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. More information about Healthcare Center services and locations can be found at www.hivcare.org.