World AIDS Day is December 1, 2014
World AIDS Day 2014 is a day to bring awareness to the fight against AIDS. Did you know...
- As many as one in six people in the US living with HIV are unaware of their infection.
- More than one million people are living with HIV in the United States.
- It is recommended that ALL adults in the United States get tested for HIV at least once, regardless of risk factors.
A powerful force in the reducing HIV and AIDS in Lake and Mendocino Counties is Mendocino Community Health Clinic (MCHC), the only local health organization providing ongoing medical treatment to HIV-infected patients. Unlike the early days of the AIDS epidemic, effective treatment, care and support services now exist for those infected with HIV, and people can live long, productive lives after they are diagnosed with the infection. And because so much more is known about how HIV is transmitted, people can effectively prevent the spread of HIV.
MCHC has been offering HIV care for more than twenty years, funded by a federal Ryan White grant since 1995. In fact, some of the MCHC doctors and nurses who currently care for patients helped start the program at MCHC. It is this caliber of provider who cares for patients at MCHC. Patients can receive HIV care at all three MCHC health centers: Hillside in Ukiah, Little Lake in Willits, and Lakeview in Lakeport, as well as Mendocino Coast Clinic in Fort Bragg.
One of the keys to effective care is medical case management, a benchmark of the MCHC program. HIV primary care services include comprehensive medical and specialty care, as well as oral (dental) care and behavioral health services. Substance abuse services are also available, both onsite and through referrals to other local programs.
Since its inception, the HIV program has more than tripled the number of patients regularly cared for—226 patients received treatment for HIV in 2013.
MCHC is currently working to expand visibility about the program in an effort to increase linkage to care with other local providers and organizations, while reducing the fear and stigma.
Of the people receiving HIV care with us, 95 percent are on anti-retroviral therapy (ART), and 89 percent of our HIV-infected patients are virally suppressed, meaning the virus is no longer detectable in their blood they are unlikely to spread the infection to others. Ninety-four percent of our HIV-infected patients are fully engaged in care and return at least every six months to be monitored and cared for.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with an HIV specialist, in Lakeport call 262-3205; in Ukiah or Willits call 472-4627. MCHC offers medical, dental, and behavioral health services to people in Lake and Mendocino Counties. All MCHC health centers accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, Covered California insurance, and more. Mendocino Community Health Clinic is a local non-profit organization providing access to health care for all. Learn more at www.mchcinc.org.