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Our mission at the Holyoke Health Center is to "Improve the health of our patients through affordable, quality health care and comprehensive community-based programs to create a healthy community."

Holyoke Health Center will host a week-long event November 26th - 30th in honor of World AIDS Day. The event is part of a worldwide campaign celebrated annually on December 1st to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

Throughout the week of November 26th, the Holyoke Health Center's Community Health Programs Department will host an information table in the 1st floor lobby, daily from 10AM - 4PM. The Community Health Program staff who specialize in HIV/AIDS, will provide resources to patients and community members on STI Testing and counseling, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence, and HIV Care Management. Condoms, lubricants, and giveaways will also be provided at the table.

Holyoke and Chicopee Health Center staff will be wearing red ribbons throughout the week to show support for people living with HIV. The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV.

On Friday, November 30th, the Community Health Programs Dept. will hold a private observance to remember the HIV-positive patients we've lost over the years.

An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2015, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those people, about 15%, or 1 in 7, did not know they were infected.1 While we have seen many advances in treatment, there remains a great deal of work to do to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. At the Holyoke Health Center, we are actively working on strategies to stop the spread of HIV and support those living with HIV to lead full and healthy lives. Our strategies focus on helping patients know their HIV status, getting them into treatment early, offering PrEP, treating substance use disorder as needed, and education about harm reduction.

 

To learn more about World AIDS Day, please visit www.worldaidsday.org

1 https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/statistics.html

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