qnotes is pleased to partner with the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina in presenting this special section, “Life, Positively”, in recognition of World AIDS Day.

The mission of the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina is to serve people living with HIV/AIDS, their loved ones, caregivers and communities at large with compassionate, non-judgmental care, prevention, education and advocacy. It provides a comprehensive variety of programs and services to individuals, organizations and communities in the Research Triangle Region of central North Carolina in order to achieve this mission. These programs and services include: direct emergency financial assistance; individual advocacy to assist clients in getting the services they need and are qualified for; referrals to more than 180 other public and private agencies; food pantries averaging nearly 600 client visits per month; door-to-door transportation for clients to medical appointments and bus tickets for local and regional travel; arrangements for respite care; housing referrals; support groups as needed and requested; Care Teams (groups of 5-12 people from over 60 Triangle congregations), Pastoral care and spiritual support provided for Care Partners (clients who have Care Teams), individuals, and families affected by HIV/AIDS; a monthly volunteer/client/donor electronic newsletter with a circulation of over 4,000; operation of two Family Care Homes licensed by the State of North Carolina and housing a total of 11 low-income people living with AIDS, many of whom are dually-diagnosed; HIV prevention education programs reaching over 25,000 people annually (targeted populations include men who have sex with men, women of child bearing years, and youth), Congregational Education (or faith-based HIV/STD education) is for both clergy and congregations, volunteer program with more than 1,000 volunteers who are thoroughly integrated into every department and activity.

Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina’s history began in the late 1980s, when several non-profit organizations in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina serving people with HIV/AIDS began collaborating on various aspects of their missions, most notably a major fund raising event called Evening With Friends. These organizations collectively served well over 2,400 individuals annually who were infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in the Research Triangle region since 1988.

In November 1997 three of these agencies (AIDS Service Agency of North Carolina, AIDS Service Agency of Orange County and Triangle AIDS Interfaith Network) created a Joint Committee on Strategic Restructuring to examine and recommend options for consolidation that would meet current and projected needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Triangle and affirm the missions of each agency.

In May 1998 the Joint Committee recommended consolidation of the organizations and in June 1998 the boards of directors of these organizations formally agreed to consolidate. The formal action that created the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina occurred on Oct. 18, 1999. Articles of Incorporation were filed on Sept. 21, 1999. The IRS has issued an Employer Identification Number and granted 501(c)(3) non-profit status. After the consolidation the Alliance successfully integrated its formerly separate founding organizations into one agency with 42 employees and a yearly budget of over $1.8 million.

The Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina has continued to grow in the first decade of the 21st century. Its clients in its four core counties — Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston — have access to a complete offering of client services. In April 2010, the Alliance began an exciting new collaboration with Wake County Human Services to form the Access Network of Care. The Alliance now offers North Carolinians living in Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren Counties a new way to access healthcare. The Alliance’s now serves more than 500 clients and it employs more than 50 people. : :

— For more information, visit aas-c.org.