Grant to assist County residents with HIV-AIDS

Posted March 02, 2010, at 10:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.

HOULTON, Maine — A state grant will help a local health services organization reach out to more Aroostook County residents who are living with HIV and AIDS.

Community Health and Counseling Services has received a $23,709 grant from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for its HIV-AIDS Medical Case Management, agency officials announced Tuesday.

Brian Chapla, regional manager for adult, child and family services at CHCS, said Tuesday that Eastern Maine AIDS Network has subcontracted with CHCS for the past two years to provide HIV-AIDS medical case management in Aroostook County.

Now, CHCS will directly offer the programs, independent of EMAN, through its Houlton, Caribou and Fort Kent locations.

As part of its medical case management piece, CHCS offers those living with HIV and AIDS a monthly support group, and helps clients find therapy, housing, local medical providers and assisting with medication management.

“When we subcontracted with CHCS two years ago, there were 15 or 16 clients in the area receiving medical case management,” Chapla said Tuesday. “Today, there are 23. That is not a huge number, but it is a big percentage jump.”

He said that a large constraint for people living with HIV and AIDS in rural areas is the limited availability of resources. The grant provides resources that assist individuals to stay in their own community without having to travel to larger cities.

The grant will allow the organization to serve more clients both in its offices and through outreach services, Chapla said.

“One of the biggest benefits of this grant is that it will help us get out into the community and raise awareness about the services we offer,” he said. “That outreach likely will bring more clients to us who did not know about the services that we offer.”

The one-year grant can be reviewed for several years, according to Chapla.

For more information on the HIV-AIDS case management or other CHCS services offered, call Brian Chapla at 532-5510.

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