FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The AIDS Task Force of Northeast Indiana has a new look, one they hope will promote them in a more positive way and eliminate some of the social stigma associated with the disease. This as state health officials announced today a quickly spreading outbreak of HIV in southeastern Indiana.
“We have come a long way since 1985,” said the agency’s executive director Jeff Markley. Aids Task Force is an identity that no longer suits the agency, created in Fort Wayne at the height of the AIDS crisis. “69 percent of our clients at this point have HIV, but do not have AIDS. We wanted something a little bit softer and also communicate that if someone is HIV positive there are positive things we can do to still keep them healthy.”
The nonprofit has changed its name to Positive Resource Center.
A rash of newly diagnosed HIV cases in southeastern Indiana was reported by officials today – 26 confirmed and four preliminary HIV positive cases since mid-December. The new HIV cases were found in IV drug users. “My thoughts are they probably found one positive person and then they were able to find needle sharing partners from that,” said Sara Siefert, director of client services for Positive Resource Center. “Injection drug use is on the rise. Local police are telling us that. Our own experience is telling us that.”
Sex is still the primary way HIV is transmitted. In northeast Indiana last year 12 new cases of HIV were reported, a rate that’s pretty typical of the past 10 years according to the Positive Resource Center.
The cure founders of the former AIDS Task Force were hoping for in the 1980s still hasn’t been discovered.
Guaranteeing the need for Positive Resource Center until that day.