RN Joins Project Reach Out for Low Threshold Medical Care

September 12th, 2014

We’re pleased to announce that our Project Reach Out van, which provides syringe exchange services, HIV/hepatitis C screenings and referrals to drug treatment, now offers low threshold medical care for clients. A part-time registered nurse joined our PRO staff in July, offering basic wound care, general health information and referrals to medical treatment. Barbara Bennet, HVCS’ Education Director, said: “Having a nurse on board the mobile unit builds trust within the community. We can also help those who traditionally avoid medical care to identify infections and early warning signs of much more complex issues.” Clients can access this low threshold medical care at PRO’s Poughkeepsie site on Mondays and Thursdays. For more information, visit the PRO page on our website.

Emergency Funds for Health Homes Clients Now Available

September 10th, 2014

Since the majority of our clients live at or below the poverty level, our care managers frequently come across clients who are homeless, in temporary housing, or in danger of being evicted. They also struggle to afford basic utilities and services. It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re worried about keeping a roof over your head or keeping the electricity flowing–and things get even tougher without housing.

Thankfully, HVCS’ three-year-old Housing program provides emergency and short-term rent and utility assistance for eligible HIV-positive clients. However, because of funding restrictions, this program wasn’t available for our non-HIV clients–until now. HVCS has allocated funds towards housing and utility emergencies for our Health Home clients living with chronic diseases other than HIV–so now all our clients in need can access emergency housing assistance to keep them safe, warm, and as healthy as possible.

Urgent Call for Donations: Family in Need

September 9th, 2014

Call for DonationsA Family in Need

“I’ve never seen a family survive with so little,” said one of our Health Home care managers this week. She let us know that a new client and her large family are in dire need of basic essentials, from children’s clothing to furniture to cleaning supplies. “They have almost nothing…no living room furniture, mattresses on the floor. Other school kids tease her girls for wearing the same clothes every day.” To help, we’re accepting donations for this local family:

  • Gift cards to popular stores like Wal-Mart and Target (for clothes and household items) or Staples (for school supplies): drop off at any office* or mail to: HVCS, 40 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne NY 10532
  • New or very gently used girls’ clothing for ages 3 to 12 – drop off at our Monticello or Newburgh offices
  • Basic school supplies: drop off at our Monticello or Newburgh offices
  • New or gently used household and furniture items: call the Monticello office at (845) 791-8871 x11.

Your contributions will be truly appreciated and will help this family live healthier and with dignity!

*Please call in advance to make sure one of our staff can greet you and accept your donation.

Get the “HIV Answers” App

September 8th, 2014

Gilead's HIV Answers appNewly diagnosed with HIV? Or do you have questions about what it’s like to live with HIV? Check out Gilead Science’s new “HIV Answers” app for iPhone and Google. Designed for newly diagnosed HIV+ people, the app leads you through a series of questions to answer your immediate questions and connects you with any services you might need…and if you’re not ready to connect to services or help, the app provides more information about your current HIV status.

Plus, the app is password-protected and shows up in your app list with a discrete icon, so no one has to know what you’re researching.

You can download it from your phone’s app store, or visit www.hivanswers.com.

“Help Stop the Virus” Videos: Easy to Understand Education Video for Newly Diagnosed Clients

September 8th, 2014

If you’re looking for a short, simple way to describe HIV infection to someone newly diagnosed with HIV, check out Gilead’s “Help Stop the Virus” series on YouTube. “You may look fine. You may feel fine. But the virus is working away, causing harm to the body. That’s the trick HIV plays. Watch this video to see what HIV does and how treatment can help.”

Photos from the Hairdressers’ Disco Ball 2014

August 19th, 2014

Red Carpet photos by Instapics/Cinderella For A Day

Crowd and show shots by Tracey Buzzanco and Melisa Pendergrass

More online:

Show and behind-the-scenes photos by Jo Ann Kraus

Getting Ready for the Hairdressers’ Disco Ball

July 21st, 2014

HDB Salons at Civic Center Marquee

Several salon owners, managers and representatives met outside the Mid-Hudson Civic Center recently before a planning meeting for the Hairdressers’ Disco Ball. Tickets are now on sale!

Debating Truvada’s “99% Effective” Rate for HIV Prevention

July 21st, 2014

(Excerpted from the New York Times)

Truvada, the once-a-day pill to help keep people from contracting H.I.V., is on the cover of this week’s New York magazine, and Tim Murphy’s cover story focuses on how the pill is changing sex by drastically reducing gay men’s fear of infection.

It’s not hard to see why: Mr. Murphy writes, “When taken every day, it’s been shown in a major study to be up to 99 percent effective.” This is a claim I hear thrown around a lot among gay men in New York. And it’s wrong. The 99 percent figure isn’t a study finding; it’s a statistical estimate, based on a number of assumptions that are reasonable, but debatable.

Here’s how the estimate was reached: A major study of men who have sex with men, called iPrEx, found that H.I.V.-negative men who were prescribed daily Truvada were 44 percent less likely to contract the virus than those who were given a placebo. But a great many of the subjects did not take their prescribed medication regularly, or at all. Of 48 iPrEx subjects who were assigned to take Truvada and contracted H.I.V. anyway, just four had any detectable level of the drug in their system when they were diagnosed, indicating a 92 percent reduction in risk for people who were actually taking the medicine.

Read the full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/upshot/is-truvada-the-pill-to-prevent-hiv-99-percent-effective-dont-be-so-sure.html?_r=2

Rate of HIV Infections Declining…Except Among Gay Men

July 21st, 2014

(Excerpted from an Associated Press feature.)

According to a new major study, the rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S.

“It’s encouraging,” said Patrick Sullivan, an Emory University AIDS researcher who was not involved in the study.

The reasons for the drop aren’t clear. It might mean fewer new infections are occurring. Or that most infected people already have been diagnosed so more testing won’t necessarily find many more cases.

“It could be we are approaching something of a ‘ceiling effect,’” said one study leader, David Holtgrave of Johns Hopkins University.

The study is based on HIV diagnoses from all 50 states’ health departments, which get test results from doctors’ office, clinics, hospitals and laboratories. The data span a decade, making this a larger and longer look at these trends than any previous study, said another study author, Amy Lansky of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings: 16 out of every 100,000 people ages 13 and older were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011, a steady decline from 24 out of 100,000 people in 2002.

Declines were seen in the rates for men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, heterosexuals, injection drug users and most age groups. The only group in which diagnoses increased was gay and bisexual men, the study found.

Read the full AP article here.

Before the Big (Hair) Show, Dine Out in Poughkeepsie

July 18th, 2014

Though your ticket to the Hairdressers’ Disco Ball on August 17th includes complimentary hors d’oeuvre prepared by the Poughkeepsie Grand, how about a relaxing Sunday brunch, late lunch or early dinner with your fellow guests? HVCS suggests these fantastic local restaurants, all located close to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Some are even offering special discounts if you show them your HDB ticket! Each one is a past or current HVCS supporter, too, so please support the local businesses that give back to their community!Hairdressers' Disco Ball Dining Guide

The Brown Derby

25% off your meal when you show your ticket!
96 Main St., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 11 am – 12 midnight

Crave Restaurant & Lounge – Dining Out for Life 2014 participating restaurant

129 Washington St., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 4 pm – 9 pm

The Mill Restaurant & Lounge – Hairdressers’ Disco Ball 2014 vendor

46 Vassar Rd., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 11 am – 8 pm

Nic L Inn Wine Cellar – Dining Out for Life 2014 participating restaurant

$5 off your meal when you show your ticket! Limit 1 per couple.
135 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 4 pm – 9 pm


1998 South Rd., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 12 pm – 9 pm

Poughkeepsie Ice House – Dining Out for Life 2014 participating restaurant + Hairdressers Disco Ball 2014 vendor

1 Main St., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 11:30 am – 9 pm

Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden – Dining Out for Life 2014 participating restaurant

202 Main St., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 12 pm – 2 am

Union Tavern – Hairdressers’ Disco Ball 2014 After-party Host

$3.50 mojitos, sangria & cosmopolitans, $5 wines, and 20% off your meal when you show your ticket.
51 Market St., Poughkeepsie
Hrs: 12 pm – 3 am

Plus, join us at Union for the HDB Afterparty from 11 pm to 3 am with DJ Prephab!