BATON ROUGE (June 24, 2013) – AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is opening its newest domestic Healthcare Center Monday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The facility will offer advice from HIV experts and opportunities for client-centered, specialized treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
AHF BATON ROUGE HEALTHCARE CENTER
Hours: Mondays 12 – 8 pm; Wednesdays 7:30 am – 4:40 pm;
2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month: 10 am – 2 pm
Nurse Manager: Patricia Grover, RN
Phone: (225) 231 – 5733
Fax: (225) 231 – 5734
AHF Healthcare Centers aim to decrease the number of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses by providing a solid circle of care: first, free HIV testing is provided to allow people to be aware of their status and learn about an HIV-positive diagnosis early, when treatment is most effective; next, those who do test positive for the virus are immediately linked into care – regardless of ability to pay – through the Center and are offered treatment options in addition to counseling and education on living well with HIV; finally, clients are supported through ongoing follow-ups and treatment accessibility to ensure they can easily remain on a health regimen that will keep their viral loads low to undetectable, thus extending life expectancies and reducing the risk of transmission.
According to the Louisiana STD/HIV Program, there are people living with HIV/AIDS in every parish in the state, and as of the last day of 2010 about 9,572 of the 17,675 people (54%) known to be HIV-positive had been advanced to an AIDS diagnosis. The advanced diagnosis of AIDS in Louisiana has shown to disproportionately affect both women and African Americans – in 2009, 32% of new AIDS cases were among women, and 76% of those newly diagnosed with AIDS were black, according to the state report. Baton Rouge ranked 2nd in the nation for most AIDS cases in 2009, and 34% of those newly diagnosed as HIV-positive that year in Baton Rouge were advanced to an AIDS diagnoses within six months of the initial diagnosis.
“These alarming statistics on AIDS cases are clear indications that people are either learning their HIV status too late, are learning that they are HIV-positive but are being linked into care too late, or are falling out of care after beginning a health regimen to live well with HIV,” said Jack Carrel, AHF’s Director of Public Health, Southern Bureau. “Through this new resource in Baton Rouge, we hope that people will see how easy it is to take simple, affordable steps toward living a long and healthy life, regardless of their HIV status.”
AHF operates more than 20 Healthcare Centers throughout the United States – in Florida, California, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, 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.