qnotes is pleased to partner with Affinity Health Center, RAIN, Rosedale Medical, Ballantyne Family Medicine and PowerHouse Project in presenting this special section, “Life, Positively,” in recognition of World AIDS Day.

Three historic firsts achieved in 2017 in the battle against HIV/AIDS worth celebrating

We need to talk about HIV and mental health

The immediate need for PrEP in Mecklenburg County

Fight On!

The Hidden Epidemic

Free HIV testing locations in the Carolinas

AIDS service organizations and agencies throughout the Carolinas

World Aids Day 2017 Events

About Our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

Affinity Health Center

Affinity Health Center is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center located in Rock Hill, S.C. Our staff of almost 50 employees is growing to serve the needs of your community with compassion, dignity and respect. Our team of providers includes an Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases Physician, three Family Nurse Practitioners, a Certified Nurse Midwife/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, two contracted Dentists, Mental Health Counselor, and a part-time Registered Dietician. We provide primary care for all ages, HIV care, Hepatitis C treatment, contraceptive care, mental health counseling and dental care. We also have clinical support staff, case managers and community health educators to provide comprehensive health services for all ages. We are currently building a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility and will relocate during the summer of 2018.

Our beginnings as Catawba Care, an AIDS Service organization, still show strong in our focus on HIV specialty care, case management, and peer services. We invest in prevention of HIV, Hep C and STDs by providing one-on-one education, Many Men Many Voices groups for African American men who have sex with men, and group educational presentations throughout our service area, as well as PrEP and PEP. We also provide free confidential walk-in HIV, Hepatitis C, and STD testing every Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

For over a decade, Affinity Health Center has joined with Winthrop University Students to observe World AIDS Day. This admission free event is open to the community on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at the DiGiorgio Center on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill. We are honored to have Trey Greene of Transcend Charlotte as our guest speaker at this year’s World AIDS Day observance.

Transcend Charlotte is a non-profit organization out of Charlotte, N.C. created to provide services and support to transgender adults and others struggling because of their identity and/or experiences. Transcend Charlotte seeks to “Rise Above” conflict, labels, and our differences in promoting connection, understanding, and empathy for all people.

Trey Greene, MSW, LCSWA is a transgender man and clinical social worker in private practice and at Time Out Youth Center. He is also co-founder and executive director of Transcend Charlotte, which serves transgender individuals in Charlotte, N.C. and the surrounding region. He received his MSW from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a focus of study on the LGBTQ community and trauma-informed care. He is passionate about working with trauma survivors in and outside of the LGBTQ population, as well as providing education about trans-related topics and sexual assault prevention and recovery.

Please join Affinity Health Center for an early observance of World AIDS Day at Winthrop University on Nov. 28. Please visit affinityhealthcenter.org to learn more about our services and our commitment to care with compassion, dignity and respect for all people.

RAIN  — Celebrates 25 Years

Congratulations to RAIN for 25 years of compassionate care! Founded by Debbie Warren and a group of volunteers at the height of the AIDS epidemic, RAIN began in the interfaith community. Hundreds of caregivers provided support for critically ill clients, their partners and other family members. As the organization grew, it garnered the attention of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ford Foundation, CBS Evening News and NC Public Television for fostering understanding and advocacy for people living with AIDS. Just last year, POZ Magazine honored several staff members in its “POZ 100 Leaders.”

The HIV landscape has changed, and RAIN has adapted accordingly. With a younger and more varied client base, as well as new prevention tools (PrEP and PEP), RAIN’s services reflect the needs of today’s HIV community. The staff includes social workers, licensed counselors and other professionals who collaborate with the community to ensure the best services for clients.

Photo Credit: Gary Benner via Silver Monkey Images

RAIN offers a variety of premier programs, including the nationally recognized Empowering Positive Youth Program (EPY), a comprehensive peer navigation and support program for youth and young adults living with HIV. RAIN works to fill critical gaps in services, such as mental health counseling, Affordable Care Act Insurance Enrollment and programs for the Latinx community. Research partnerships with area universities allow RAIN to participate in national projects that increase adherence to drug therapies, especially among vulnerable populations.

“As I reflect on these 25 years, I am moved by the generosity of all who’ve worked to sustain RAIN and ensure that we remain a source of hope for people living with HIV. We can bring an end to HIV and AIDS, and I’m inspired by all in our RAIN network working to do so.”RAIN’s president and CEO, Debbie Warren stated.

RAIN will celebrate its achievements at its annual World AIDS Day Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 29. All are invited and welcome. For tickets and information contact Joyce Brooks at j.brooks@carolinarain.org or 704-973-9819.

Rosedale Medical

It was 2006 when Rosedale Infectious Diseases, now Rosedale Medical, was formed out of necessity. Dr. Frederick Cruickshank started Rosedale after the clinic he moved from Florida to be an on-staff ID provider for HIV services, the former Jemsek Clinic, decided to go in a new direction with treating Lyme disease and left a void for HIV services. Cruickshank and others from the Jemsek Clinic wanted to continue to work in the field they love and treat the patients that they had a passion to help?

The passion for serving the HIV community has lead to the practice’s tremendous growth in physical office space and from a full time staff of six to over 25 people. Not only doe’s Rosedale Medical serve the HIV community, they now reach across the aisles to provide general medical care to the entire LGBTQ community and the public as a whole.

Research studies are conducted at Rosedale on a national and international level; there is an on-site laboratory, nutritional services, mental health counseling, benefit advocates, and a skilled and compassionate medical staff with an on-site Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.

The folks at Rosedale are here for you, and know that with the passion and commitment of Dr. Frederick Cruickshank and his staff, we do know the future is bright!  Visit them on Facebook or at rosedaleid.com.

Red Ribbon Sponsor

Ballantyne Family Medicine

Ballantyne Family Medicine is a part of your family. You’ll find compassion for families and individuals in primary care, HIV, and behavioral health. Our mission is to provide complete patient care to ensure long-term treatment success for individuals and communities impacted by HIV. We are committed to providing a “safe place” for our clients. Our providers support, counsel and provide medical services for people transitioning genders. We offer pharmacogenetic testing for over 200 medications. With a simple cheek swab, we can determine how to break down medications so we know which medications you may or may not tolerate. We have same-day urgent care appointments available through our Rx Quick Care clinic for the flu, strep throat, urinary tract or bladder infections, and ear infections. We bring together a variety of patient care resources all under one roof.

Our medical services are provided with collaborative partners to provide a “One-Stop Shop” that has an onsite pharmacy, onsite lab services, housing assistance, case management, peer support services, patient education sessions, and mental health/substance abuse services. We have providers and staff that speak multiple languages such as English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and American Sign Language.

Providing an integrated approach to patient care is the best way to ensure we meet all of our patient’s needs. We believe it’s the best way to care for people with complex health care needs. We provide personalized, quality healthcare at two locations in the Charlotte area. Our primary building is located on East WT Harris Blvd. with easy access to public transportation with a bus stop in front of the building.  Our second location is in the South Charlotte area off Johnston Rd. Our medical service providers include: Richard Wynn, MD; J. Wesley Thompson, PA-C; Kristi Dougan AGNP-C; Rebekah Stockstill, PA-C; Tamara Neely, NP; and Mandy Irvin, PharmD.

Supporting Sponsor

PowerHouse Project

The PowerHouse Project is the HIV prevention and education department of Quality Home Care Services, Inc. We are committed to providing premier HIV prevention and care services to the community. Our services include free and confidential HIV and HEP C screenings (every day, walk-in or appointment), programs and social support for people living with HIV, HIV prevention and education programs, linkage to HIV care, case management, and other essential support services.

The PowerHouse Project is located 1416 & 1420 Beatties Ford Rd. in Charlotte, N.C.

Contact Dr. Darrin Johnson, prevention programs manager at djohnson@qhcsnc.org for more information about testing appointments, programs schedule or how you can volunteer or donate to PowerHouse Project.

Also, visit our website at powerhousecharlotte.org or give us a call at 980-­999-­5295.

World AIDS Day activities at PowerHouse include our “Power, Spirit, Love…Speaks” (music and spoken word) on Friday, Dec. 1 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church located at 1900 The Plaza. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m., with the main event taking place at 7 p.m.