Iris House and AHF to Join Forces for Women’s Health in New York and New Jersey

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea

New affiliation between Iris House and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) seeks to improve delivery of lifesaving HIV/AIDS care and services to women throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.


NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2019) Iris House, one of the only HIV/AIDS organizations remaining that focuses specifically on the needs of women living with HIV or AIDS in New York City and the greater New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, is expanding its capacity to provide an array of critical services to those affected by HIV/AIDS by affiliating with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). Both organizations serve HIV-positive clients with a wide variety of free services as well as providing free HIV and STD prevention services.


As a primary and well-respected metropolitan area AIDS service organization delivering services to women for over 25 years in greater New York, Iris House provides critical services and advocacy for HIV-positive individuals. AHF is a global organization that now provides cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to more than 1.2 million people in 44 countries. It is also the largest community provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the United States.


“The board of Iris House conducted a strategic planning process which helped the agency to see the need to identify a true partner in order to sustain our vital services in the communities we serve,” said Ingrid Floyd, Executive Director of Iris House. “This new partnership with AHF will enhance our client experience, through the addition of medical services, while allowing us to maintain our brand and successful service delivery model.  Iris House will retain a focus on women living with and susceptible to HIV while continuing to expand services to address other health disparities.”


“Both AHF and Iris House share a common mission to stop the spread of HIV and improve the lives of all people living with HIV/AIDS and we believe this relationship will be mutually beneficial for our organizations and our clients and patients,” said Donna Tempesta, Northern Bureau Chief and VP Finance for AHF. “Each organization has a long history of providing such crucial services: Iris House was founded over 25 years ago to provide services HIV/AIDS and related specifically to and for women. AHF started in 1987, a time when the AIDS epidemic was claiming the lives of thousands of men and women across the country and drugs to control the virus were few, new and experimental. This new partnership allows both organizations to continue to leverage our respective strengths to better serve the needs of women living with HIV/AIDS throughout greater New York and New Jersey.”


Through the agreement, Iris House will keep its identity, staff, programs, grants, etc. Immediate access to AHF’s nearby medical and pharmacy services will allow Iris House to essentially become a one-stop shop for care and services. Iris House’s main location is in Harlem (2348 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard–7th Avenue between 137th and 138th Streets–New York, NY 10030, a very short distance from AHF’s brand new site in the South Bronx.


HIV/AIDS and Women in Greater New York


According to a report by the HIV Epidemiology and Field Services Program of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in 2017 (published Nov. 2018 and as reported to the NYC Department of health and Mental Hygiene by March 31, 2018), there were:

  • 449 new HIV diagnoses in women in NYC
    • Including 86 cases—or 19%–concurrent with AIDS diagnoses
  • Women comprise 52% of the population in NYC and 21% of new HIV diagnoses
  • 340 new AIDS diagnoses
  • Blacks accounted for the majority of new HIV diagnoses (275 cases) among women (61%)
  • Among black women, aged 30-39 comprised the largest proportion of new HIV diagnoses
  • Latina/Hispanic women accounted for 122 of the 449 new cases.


“AHF recognizes the critical importance of supporting patients and clients with local grassroots community-based services that are crucial to ensuring better health care outcomes, and nowhere is this more evident than in supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS—particularly women, who have been disproportionately affected by this epidemic,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.  “Also, knowing what an important role that housing plays in maintaining health and wellbeing, particularly for those living with chronic conditions like HIV and AIDS, AHF is excited that Iris House has housing units in the city as well as a strong presence in New Jersey.


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About Iris House For over 25 years, Iris House has served as a primary organization targeting women with free HIV/AIDS services in order to promote and support independent functioning for clients, to improve their quality of life, and to maintain optimum health status for clients and their families. As part of its mission, Iris House also seeks to educate policy makers, elected officials, and human health service providers about the issues and concerns affecting our clients and their families; and to advocate for changes in policy and programs that are more responsive to the needs of women and their families.

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