AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin observes World AIDS Day, highlights opening of Madison medical home

The Wisconsin Gazette

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin is recognizing World AIDS Day by highlighting the opening of its newest HIV medical home in Madison.

The ARCW HIV medical home provides integrated medical, dental and mental health care along with a pharmacy and critical social services to make sure people with HIV have all the tools they need to live a long, healthy life with HIV, according to a news release.

“World AIDS Day is a day set aside to remember the countless number of loved ones we have lost, to support the thousands of people living with HIV today who need access to health care and treatment and to rededicate ourselves to doing all we can as individuals and as a society to eliminate new infections from occurring,” ARCW president and CEO Michael J. Gifford stated. “The opening of new medical home in Madison and our ongoing dedication to expanding HIV prevention and testing services to all who need them everywhere in Wisconsin are just two of the ways we mark this solemn and important day.”

ARCW also is offering access to pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, as an integral component of its health care and prevention services. PrEP works by providing HIV-negative individuals who are at high risk for contracting HIV with the same medication used to help HIV-positive individuals successfully minimize the amount of the virus they have in their body.

PrEP has been shown to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing new HIV infections when used correctly. Combined with access to health care, regular testing and other HIV prevention strategies such as condoms, PrEP provides people with a game-changing way to stop HIV.

“Today, unlike the first World AIDS Day, we have the tools and medical science to provide patients with a long, healthy life with HIV disease and to stop new infections from occurring almost completely. What we still need now is what we needed then — the collective will from our private and public leaders to join us and seize upon the opportunity we have before us,” Gifford stated. “There is much to be excited for as we look forward to a world in which everyone with HIV has unfettered access to health care, in which new infections are truly rare, and where people with HIV no longer face the stigma that helps to drive this epidemic forward.”

Get connected

HIV patients and people at-risk for HIV who would like to learn more about ARCW programs and services designed for them can visit www.arcw.org, call 800-359-9272 from anywhere in Wisconsin or contact their local ARCW office by using http://www.arcw.org/locations/.