About | Our History
- About 1 in 5 individuals with HIV are unaware they are infected
- There are 1300-1500 persons living with HIV/AIDS in New Hampshire
- There are 500 persons estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in Vermont
- It is estimated that there are nearly 12,000 Vermonters living with Hepatitis C
- There are 26,000 people living in New Hampshire with Hepatitis C
When HIV/AIDS first appeared in the Upper Valley, neither our medical community nor our social service agencies were prepared to meet the needs of those affected by the killer virus. Additionally, misinformation, rampant fear and prejudice created a climate that was so hostile few people felt safe enough to talk about their illness. Fortunately, a diverse and compassionate group of volunteers came together in 1988 to find ways to help those affected and infected with HIV or living with AIDS; together they established ACoRN (now HIV/HCV Resource Center).
The Resource Center is now a comprehensive and professional AIDS service organization that has supported hundreds of HIV positive people and their affected family members. We offer case management, support groups, assistance with transportation to medical appointments, and emergency financial help for housing, food, clothing and medical needs. We also offer comprehensive HIV and Hepatitis C prevention education and testing. We have three certified HIV counselors and testers. Our services are free of charge and available to anyone living in Windsor and Orange Counties of Vermont and Grafton and Sullivan of New Hampshire.
All of our services are free and confidential.
In 2004, we changed our mission statement in order to include services to those both infected and affected by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). In 2010, we changed our name to the HIV/HCV Resource Center to reflect this focus. Our staff and Board of Directors became increasingly aware that Hepatitis C had become the leading blood borne pandemic in the United States, as well as the world, and that greater numbers of those co-infected with Hepatitis C and HIV were dying. We have begun to apply our years of knowledge and experience in combating our rural HIV epidemic to facing the challenges of Hepatitis C.
In addition to supporting people who are already directly infected with HIV and/or Hepatitis C, the mission of HIV/HCV Resource Center includes stopping the spread of these viruses through a variety of community outreach and educational programs and services. Most recently, our staff has begun to target prevention services directly to those who inject drugs and their sexual partners. In addition, we are working closely with Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University and area high schools, as part of an intensive educational program.
Both epidemics of HIV and Hepatitis C are escalating rapidly among those who inject drugs in our communities. In 2006, with support from the Board of Directors, our staff established the first Syringe Exchange Program ever provided in our catchment area. This move represents our ongoing commitment to grow and shift our priorities and services in order to continue to succeed in accomplishing our founding members' mission in the service of our communities.
During the first 6 months of this program, more than 800 needles were exchanged and there were numerous referrals to Methadone clinics and other treatment facilities. The program now runs on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 at the Good Neighbor Health Clinic in White River Junction. Since the beginning of 2009, we have given out 1,200 clean syringes and 70 HIV and HCV tests!
HIV/HCV Resource Center has supported hundreds of HIV-positive people and their affected family members.
HIV/HCV Resource Center has acquired new HIV clients by urging participants in the Syringe Exchange Program to be tested not only for Hepatitis C but also for HIV. Our Prevention Educator has also adopted some new innovative approaches to reaching individuals to educate, inform, and test:
- Healthy Relationships retreat (CDC curriculum, done twice annually) providing participants with communication, self empowerment and relationship building skills
- HIV /HCV and substance abuse
- Social Network Testing (CDC curriculum for HIV reduction), in which intravenous drug users bring others to be counseled and tested
- Programming in correction facilities
- Multiple-visit curriculum in treatment facilities
- School presentations
- HIV/HCV testing and counseling
- Searchlight Project
- Posting our available services in MSM chat rooms so that individuals can ask questions anonymously
HIV/HCV Resource Center is actively “looking outside the box” as federal and state funding resources continue to be cut. There is no cure for HIV and it is spreading, especially among 18-26 year olds. We ask for your support to be able to keep our services for our clients, offer counseling and testing as well as risk reduction to individuals, and most importantly to provide education to the greater public.