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AIDS Services Foundation Orange County to become Radiant Health Centers

Wilfredo Carrasco (left), an RHC patient and Phil Yaeger, CEO of Radiant Health Centers

IRVINE, Calif.–AIDS Services Foundation Orange County, a local organization that has helped people living with HIV and those at risk for over 32 years, has adopted a new name, Radiant Health Centers. The change takes effect immediately.

“While our name has changed, our caring and compassion has not,” said Phil Yaeger, CEO of Radiant Health Centers.

The new name was inspired by the organization’s role as a hub that connects people to care and by the optimism inherent in the word radiance, which signifies the quality or state of having or giving off light.  The new logo mark captures that radiance in a subtle rainbow of colors and a door shape which ties into its welcoming new tagline: Compassionate Care for All.

While living with HIV has become manageable, more people than ever are living with HIV in Orange County and must take costly medications every day for the rest of their lives while still facing great stigma. These medications can suppress the virus to a level that is undetectable and, therefore, no longer transmissible to an HIV-negative partner. Despite these exciting medical advances, six people test positive for HIV every week in Orange County.

“Our goal is zero new transmissions as well as zero stigma. To get us there, we are doing everything we can to close the healthcare gap that these people are slipping through,” Yaeger said. “Adopting a new name that speaks more broadly to HIV as a healthcare and health equity issue is an important first step toward our goal.”

Another goal of Radiant Health Centers’ has been ensuring 90 percent of those living with HIV in Orange County know their HIV status.

Through its tireless prevention efforts and free and confidential testing at two locations in Irvine and Santa Ana, Radiant Health Centers has achieved that goal. However, it means that there are still about 600 to 700 people living with HIV who don’t know it, aren’t taking medications and are able to unknowingly pass it on to others.

“Knowing your status is key to prevention. The new mantra in HIV prevention is “undetectable equals untransmittable,” said Yaeger.

The Centers for Disease Control confirmed, effective September 2017, that people who take antiretroviral treatments daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.

Radiant Health Centers believes that fewer new transmissions would occur if people didn’t face the stigma that prevents them for getting tested or asking for medications that prevent HIV, and if they had better access to such vital medications and knowledgeable healthcare providers who understood how to treat and prevent HIV.

Radiant Health Centers provides case managers to help those who test positive for HIV to access medical care and prescriptions, drive them to appointments, provide food through its nutrition center and support their loved ones through support groups and family and kids’ programs.

Radiant Health Centers has been expanding its services to include free hepatitis C testing, more mental health services and will continue expanding its services to meet the community’s needs and get Orange County to zero new transmissions and zero stigma.

HIV and hepatitis C Testing locations:

RADAR, 2708 Westminster Ave., Suite 110, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Radiant Health Centers, 17982 Sky Park Circle, Irvine, CA 92614

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=84508

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017. Filed under Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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