​Volunteers of America celebrates grand opening of new HIV Services office

Supporters, community partners and staff celebrated the grand opening of Volunteers of America's new HIV Prevention Services office with a ribbon cutting and open house on February 2.

Volunteers of America Mid-States staff, community partners and supporters gathered on February 2 to celebrate the grand opening of our new HIV Services office on Goss Avenue in Louisville, KY. The office, that once served as our administration headquarters for 30 years, is now home to our S.T.O.P. (Stop the Spread of HIV Through Outreach and Prevention) Louisville and Kentuckiana programs, Louisville Metro Syringe Exchange Program and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS.

Jennifer Hancock, Volunteers of America President/CEO, spoke to attendees, highlighting the need and importance of HIV prevention and outreach services in our community. "One person in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is estimated to contract HIV each day and the number of people injecting drugs is on the rise," said Hancock.

Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, also spoke, noting that she is proud to partner with Volunteers of America on the Syringe Exchange Program, established in 2015, to combat the spread of HIV through intravenous drug use. Through this partnership, the program has reached 2,000 people and referred 108 to addiction treatment.

Louisville Metro Councilman Pat Mulvihill, District 10, shared that he is honored to welcome HIV Prevention Services to the Germantown neighborhood, where Volunteers of America has had a presence for 30 years, and emphasized the importance of HIV education, testing and outreach. Kentuckiana AIDS Alliance (KAA) Board Vice President John Gardner also spoke on the role KAA plays in the community and the value of the work they do in partnership with Volunteers of America.

Volunteers of America has provided HIV services in the Louisville area for the last 20 years, and in 2015, expanded our services through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant. This grant will allow our S.T.O.P. team to target the hard-to-reach populations of Metro Louisville and surrounding counties, including Southern Indiana. We are proud to work with the Department of Public Health and Wellness, KAA, University of Louisville's 550 Clinic and our other partners who are working to stop the spread of HIV in our community.

"There has never been a more important time to address HIV Prevention in our community. Together with our partners gathered here today, we will progress towards an HIV/AIDS-free generation," Hancock said.