Achieving better health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS in northeastern Indiana
In 1985, a Fort Wayne, Indiana, woman began caring for her brother after he became ill from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). She did not know much about this disease, how to help care for him, or how it would affect her family.
She wasn’t alone. That year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its AIDS case definition, noting that AIDS was caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). With the first cases of what is now known as AIDS first appearing in the United States in 1981, it was becoming the number one threat to public health and a household term.
She reached out to members of her community for guidance, and a group of volunteers came together to discuss how they could support the woman and her brother. The volunteers also recognized that they would need to prepare the community for more AIDS cases. They quickly worked to educate themselves and the community on HIV and AIDS, identified community resources to assist HIV-positive people and engaged with patients and caregivers. As their work continued, it became the foundation for what is now the Northeast Indiana Positive Resource Connection.
The Positive Resource Connection is recognized as the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the state. Today, the Positive Resource Connection serves 400 people living with HIV, educates 8,000 people a year, and tests more than 1,500 for HIV. Their services have also expanded with the organization, which now include syphilis, hepatitis C testing, and viral hepatitis case management services for persons living with hepatitis C.
Positive Resource Connection has made a measurable impact on those with HIV and AIDS in the community, including:
- 93 percent of clients have achieved an undetectable HIV viral load which, when maintained, will prevent further progression of the infection and prevents HIV from being transmitted
- 394 individuals living with HIV received case management, of which 94 percent lived in poverty, and 55 percent were men who have sex with men or were transgender
- 171 individuals accessed the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program to prevent contracting HIV
With the help of grants from the Maximus Foundation, Positive Resource Connection has achieved its mission of promoting better health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS. This includes operating costs, providing medical treatment and care, ensuring that HIV-negative individuals have access to PrEP medications to prevent HIV infection, and focusing on reducing HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and hepatitis among underserved populations through education and testing. They have also helped in reducing or eliminating barriers that would prevent HIV-positive or high-risk HIV-negative individuals from staying in care and adhering to treatment.
Learn more about Positive Resource Connection.
Giving back to the communities we serve
The Maximus Foundation is one of the ways Maximus employees are doing something greater together. Established by the Maximus Board of Directors in 2000, the Maximus Foundation is an independent, employee-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Employee donors pool their contributions together through the Foundation, increasing their community impact by supporting nonprofits that serve the same communities we do. Employee donors double their impact through Maximus’ dollar-for-dollar matching pledge and make their voices heard by nominating and voting for future grantee partners. Learn more at maximus.com/foundation.