LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - New HIV services provided throughout Tippecanoe County.
Today, Positive Link, Aspire Indiana and Volunteers of America hosted an open house in celebration of merging into one main office.
By combining the services together it will provide better access of care for people who may be suffering from HIV or someone who would like to be tested.
HIV Services Manager for IU Health Community Health, Jill Stowers says, this was made to become a one-stop place for those suffering from HIV.
"If we're spread across the city which is how we have been for the last year or so, a client may come to us with their medical case management at IU health and have a non-medical need and we don't want to send them across town we want to be able to walk them down the hall and introduce them to that partner provider," said Stowers.
Over 12,000 citizens throughout Indiana have been diagnosed with HIV. 185 of those are from Tippecanoe County alone.
Product Director for the Mental Health and addiction treatment services John Cannaday says anyone is eligible for a free test.
"All testing is free and confidential, it can be done in a matter of a few minutes," said Cannaday. "Back in the old days a test was a blood test and took two weeks to see results now its a swab in the mouth and can get results in ten to fifteen minutes."
Cannaday says he would like to break the stigma of HIV.
"Thirty years ago HIV was a very serious disease that could threaten your life," said Cannaday. "Now HIV is manageable just like diabetes, you can live a satisfying life, with a life expectancy of everyone else."
Cannaday says a big issue people are dealing with is getting tested.
"It's a challenge for so many because denial is a really big defense mechanism." Said Cannaday. He suggests people come out and get tested even if they do not think they are positive.
They are located at 3900 McCarty Lane, Suite 107, Lafayette, Indiana.