New AHF Healthcare Center Opens in St. Petersburg to Address Florida’s Growing HIV/AIDS Epidemic

In Featured by Rachel Mills

AHF’s newly built flagship facility in St. Petersburg’s Skyway Marina District houses a state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS treatment clinic, medical case management and an AHF Pharmacy and fundraising thrift store, benefiting HIV/AIDS patients across the region, as well as serving as a free, confidential HIV testing site.

To raise awareness about the free HIV/AIDS services, individuals can get a free, rapid, 1-minute HIV test at the Out of the Closet thrift store before Monday to register and enter to win a 2018 Vespa Scooter.

PETERSBURG, FL (June 22, 2018) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is pleased to announce that it is adding another new HIV/AIDS health care center delivering state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS medical care and services to patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, this time, with its first clinic in St. Petersburg, FL, where AHF has been operating an AHF Pharmacy and one of its fundraising Out of the Closet thrift stores since May 2017 and where the need for care and services remains great.

The new AHF Healthcare Center/St. Petersburg will open with a grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting starting at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 25th.  Located at 3404 26th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33711 in the Skyway Marina District, the location already houses a state-of-the-art AHF Pharmacy and offers confidential free, rapid, 1-minute HIV testing. For its initial period of operation, the new AHF Healthcare Center will be open Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

WHAT: GRAND OPENING & RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY for NEW AIDS CLINIC
AHF Healthcare Center/St. Petersburg

WHEN: MONDAY, June 25, 2018 –  10:00 a.m.

WHERE: AHF Healthcare Center/St Petersburg – 3404 26th Street South, St. Petersburg FL 33711
(727) 318-6880 main

WHO:

  • Dr. Jeanette Cancel, AHF Tampa Bay Medical Director
  • Hon. Rick Kriseman, Mayor, St. Petersburg
  • Shaundia White, AHF Regional Director, Central Florida
  • Michael Weinstein, President, AHF
  • Michael Kahane, AHF Southern Bureau Chief

“The need for medical care and services for HIV/AIDS patients in St. Petersburg remains significant, with both Florida and St. Petersburg repeatedly landing at the top of HIV and/or AIDS incidence and rates nationally,” said Dr. Jeanette Cancel, AHF Tampa Bay Medical Director, including the new St. Petersburg site as well as the Tampa/Safety Harbor HCC. “I am honored to partner with AHF as we expand the reach in delivering quality care and medical services to HIV/AIDS patients at this new, state-of-the-art facility in St. Petersburg.”

“Florida ranked first among the fifty states in the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015[1], and St. Petersburg ranked fifteen in the top fifteen cities with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses[2], so there is clearly a tremendous need for accessible, affordable HIV/AIDS medical treatment and services in both Florida and in the Tampa/St. Pete region, in particular,” noted Shaundia White, AHF Regional Director for Central Florida. “Through this newest site, AHF will offer medical care and services at the clinic. However, the location also has an Out of the Closet store, offers free HIV testing and has an AHF Pharmacy in the OTC. With this new all-in-one facility, we have the ability to offer wrap-around services to everyone that walks through our doors.”

“We first expanded our presence and services in St. Petersburg with the opening of the Out of the Closet thrift store and AHF Pharmacy in May 2017.  We knew that along with the testing and other services that we have been providing to the community—in the community—and to the City of St. Petersburg and the surrounding municipalities, we are helping shift the trajectory of the local HIV epidemic,” said Michael Kahane, AHF Southern Bureau Chief. “With the opening of our new AHF Healthcare Center today, we’re taking another important step to help address and reduce Florida’s growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

Vespa Scooter Contest Raises Awareness about HIV Testing, New HIV/AIDS Healthcare Center

To raise awareness about the opening of the new St. Pete clinic and the free HIV/AIDS services offered by AHF at the site, AHF is sponsoring a contest offering a Vespa Scooter as the grand prize. To participate, individuals can get a free, rapid, 1-minute HIV test at the St. Pete Out of the Closet thrift store to register and enter to win a 2018 Vespa Scooter. The Vespa contest has been up and running since May 25th and the winner will be selected during the on June 25th grand opening celebration.

 

HIV in Florida:

According to recent statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Southern states account for approximately 44 percent of all people living with an HIV diagnosis, despite making up roughly one-third (37 percent) of the national population. States reporting the highest rates of people living with HIV are predominantly in the South.  According to the CDC, Florida ranks #1 across the country in terms of new diagnosed cases of HIV in 2015, with St. Petersburg ranking #15 nationally in terms of cities with cases of new HIV diagnosis—one of four Florida cities in the top 15 (#1 Miami, #6 Orlando, #9, Jacksonville & #15 St. Pete).

AHF currently operates 61 other Healthcare Centers in 15 states throughout the United States as well as one in the District of Columbia. Each Healthcare Center provides medical programs tailored to the specific needs of asymptomatic and symptomatic HIV/AIDS individuals from qualified medical and support professionals.

The AHF Healthcare Center/St. Petersburg is located in the Skyway Marina District at 3404 26th Street, St. Petersburg, FL 33711, Tel: (727) 318-6880, Fax: (727) 321-0890. Its hours of operation for now are Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 920,000 individuals in 41 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

 

[1] CDC Florida State Health Profile: https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/stateprofiles/pdf/Florida_profile.pdf

[2]  HIV Plus Magazine: https://www.hivplusmag.com/treatment/2017/1/24/15-us-cities-highest-rates-new-hiv-diagnoses

 

 

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