Out of the Closet, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s chain of thrift stores that offers free HIV testing, held a pop-up clothing drive today for Austin residents.
The clothing drive continues AHF’s support of the Austin community following an unprecedented HIV and hepatitis C outbreak last year.
AUSTIN (April 22, 2016) —Today Out of the Closet, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)’s thrift store chain that offers free HIV testing, in collaboration with Foundations Family Medicine, donated 3,000+ articles of clothing to those in need in the Austin, Indiana community. Held at a local Jennings Township Volunteer Fire Department station, staff from AHF and Foundations volunteered at today’s clothing drive that included giveaways, cornhole games, and free educational materials on sexual health, HIV prevention and treatment. Items donated by AHF and Foundations Family Medicine provided clothing for over 300 Austin residents.
“One out of five Austin residents live below the poverty line, which is more than 1.5 times the overall rate in Indiana,” said AHF Patient Advocate and Austin City Council Member Staci Mullins. “Being a lifelong resident of Austin, I can honestly say AHF has been a blessing to the community and I am proud they are working in collaboration with Foundations Family Medicine to assist our city that has suffered so greatly over the past year.”
Austin, a rural town of 4,200 residents, experienced an unprecedented outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C last year after residents shared contaminated needles during intravenous drug use. AHF rapidly responded to the situation by delivering a mobile testing unit (MTU) for free HIV testing in partnership with the City of Austin and Dr. William Cooke of Foundations Family Medicine. From that partnership and commitment to serving residents in Austin and Southern Indiana, AHF hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony in December for the renovated clinic that provides medical care to people living with HIV and Hepatitis C on site at Foundations Family Medicine, located at 25 West Main Street.
Since April 2015, AHF has tested 600 people in the city of Austin for HIV through its MTU and connected over 100 residents who tested positive for HIV and/or Hepatitis C to medical care and treatment services, of which 64 are virally suppressed, well above the national average of 30%.
See photos from the event below: