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HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight: Aid for AIDS of Nevada

July 13, 2011

Quick Facts About

Aid for AIDS of Nevada

  • AFAN is the largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Nevada.
  • Has been providing services to people infected with or affected by HIV for over 27 years.
  • Serves approximately 2,800 people a year.
  • Schedules 10 or more outreaches per month, reaching 5,000 individuals per year.
  • Has two of the most significant fundraising events for HIV in Nevada: AIDS Walk Las Vegas and the Black & White Party.
  • Has been recognized by the U.S. Congress, Nevada's governor, and the Nevada State Assembly for its continued efforts and advocacy in the HIV community and for educating the population about its vitally important work.
  • On the Web: www.afanlv.org
  • Location:

    Aid for AIDS of Nevada
    701 Shadow Lane, Suite 170
    Las Vegas, NV 89106
    Telephone: 702.382.2326
    Fax: 702.366.1609

In TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight series, we focus on some of the true unsung heroes of the HIV community: the organizations that support and provide services for individuals living with, or at risk for, HIV. We profile some of the best in the U.S. and learn how they got started, what challenges they face and what's in store for them in the future.

This week, we turn our sights on Las Vegas, Nev. According to the Nevada State Health Division's HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program, at the end of 2008, an estimated total of 7,940 persons were known to be living with HIV (4,123 of whom had a diagnosis of AIDS), representing a 27 percent increase since 2004. Even as the number of new HIV cases steadily increases every year, Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) remains the state's leading HIV organization, providing support to those living with HIV and maintaining prevention and education campaigns.

TheBody.com recently interviewed Jennifer Morss, the executive director of AFAN.

Can you tell me a little bit about AFAN's mission?

Founded in 1984, Aid for AIDS of Nevada is the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the state of Nevada. Nearly 2,000 men, women and children infected with HIV are registered as clients with our agency. AFAN provides direct client service programs, food programs, prevention and education programs, and community outreach. It is the mission of our client-service programs to enhance the physical health and psychosocial wellness of the individuals we serve, while promoting their dignity and improving the quality of their lives.

What services do you currently offer?

Case management, housing assistance, medical transportation assistance, medical nutrition therapy, prevention education, outreach and medication assistance.

What is the biggest challenge that AFAN faces?

Challenging economic times for fundraising and increasing our client base.

Any difficulties doing HIV work specific to being in Nevada?

No. Actually, Nevada has been very supportive of the organization for more than 27 years. We are honored by the continued generosity of our fellow Nevadans.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working at AFAN?

Honestly, we have the most amazing clients. We just love our clients and their families who visit us for services, and attend our annual kids' summer camp and toy drives. We enjoy our family-like environment.

What advice would you give to a potential volunteer who has never been to an HIV organization before and isn't sure how to lend a hand?

Get involved. Do whatever those two words mean to you. Take a tour of a local organization and meet the staff. Offer to help, and we'll jump at the opportunity for more hands on deck. Together we make a difference!

What direction is the organization moving toward? Where do you see AFAN three years from now?

Preparing for health care reform in 2014. We are unwavering in our efforts to ensure there is an AFAN for our clients in 2014. Three years from now, we could look very different. We may operate a federally qualified health center, or we may join forces with other organizations in our community to better leverage funds for client access. We will always be what our clients need us to be; after all, without them, we wouldn't be here.

You can support continued success for AFAN's programs and services by volunteering or donating.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Warren Tong is the research editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.


Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 
See Also
HIV/AIDS Organization Spotlight
More News and Articles on HIV Groups and Medical Care in Western U.S. States

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Jeff H (Las Vegas) Sun., Nov. 4, 2012 at 2:13 am EST
Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) are under investigation by Social Services and HRSA because a staff member posted on Youtube security footage of 3 clients in their lobby with the permission of AFAN's Executive Director Jennifer Morss and of the Executive Board. Jennifer Morss also posted my and other individuals private client information on Facebook in Sept of 2011 after we spoke out about AFAN's Zero Tolerance Policy for Clients and regarding Jennifer Morss's applicant to serve on our Ryan White Part A Planning Council and others issues at two Board of County Commissioner meetings. Jennifer Morss stepped down as the Executive Directer, but is still subcontracted to do work for AFAN at their office. Needless to say I'm Not a fan of AFAN any longer. Community Outreach Medical Center and HELP of Southern Nevada are compassionate, respectful, and over all far better to clients in need our HIV/AIDS community.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Tavara W. (United States) Thu., Aug. 18, 2011 at 5:27 am EDT
I was born into the afan community dr. Patti Roberts & Dr. Christiensen frm the wellness center wich is supported by afan took very good care of me my mother and i were at risk i was supposed to pass at the age of two but here i am 21 years young and feeling fine thanks to my doctors and the support from afan i thank you for all you have done to save my life keep it goin keep it strong
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