The City of Stamford today announced that Stamford CARES (Coalition for AIDS Resources, Education and Services) will administer HIV prevention and early intervention services available to city residents effective July 1, 2017. Funding for the City of Stamford’s HIV program was recently cut from the Operating budget.
“In light of the budget cut, Mayor David Martin directed the Health Department to ensure that HIV Services continue uninterrupted for those residents in need,” said Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare Ted Jankowski. “The Health Department worked with the State Department of Public Health to pursue a viable and appropriate community partner to continue to provide HIV prevention services for residents. Stamford CARES, a program of Family Centers, located in the Government Center, has provided medical case management, counseling and other support to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Greater Stamford area for many years. They were chosen to fill the HIV/AIDS prevention service gap because of their expertise with HIV and because of their history of providing excellent services to the Stamford community.”
Since 1986, the Health Department and Stamford CARES have worked collaboratively to combat the AIDS epidemic, and ensure the community has access to a wide array of preventative and responsive programs. This new arrangement will allow Stamford CARES to provide all HIV/AIDS-related services offered to the Greater Stamford area focusing on a stronger continuum of care.
“There is a trend across the country in which prevention services are being carried out by HIV service providers. Combining HIV prevention with HIV care not only allows us to better treat our clients, but it also helps maximize scarce public dollars,” said Dennis Torres, Family Centers’ Vice President of Health Care Programs.
Mayor Martin added, “The partnership between Stamford CARES and the State Department of Public Health is critical in ensuring that there is no gap in maintaining these critical services for our community.”
The City of Stamford’s Director of Health Dr. Jennifer Calder continued, “The decision to partner with Stamford CARES is a very logical and thoughtful one. Stamford CARES is located on the same floor as the City’s Health Department and this arrangement ensures that the existing clients who we serve will continue to obtain services in a familiar environment. The Health Department has traditionally referred newly identified HIV infected persons to Stamford CARES for medical services. Now, testing and care will be offered by the same agency making it easier for the residents of Stamford.”
In order to avoid any interruption of this important community resource, Stamford CARES has entered into a temporary six-month agreement with the State of Connecticut for HIV prevention and early intervention services through December 2017. Stamford CARES will have the opportunity to enter a bid to continue these services for 2018.
HIV Prevention and Early Intervention services, as well as free and confidential HIV counseling and testing, will continue to be offered to Stamford residents on the 8th floor of the Government Center by Stamford CARES during regular business hours. For more information about HIV testing and services call, 203-977-4387 or 203-977-5096.