AIDS Response Effort, Inc. (ARE) is a non-profit 501(c) 3, which was incorporated in Richmond, VA on May 24, 1991. ARE is the only AIDS Service Organization (ASO) serving the Lord Fairfax Health District # 7 (LFHD7). ARE’s purpose is to provide financial and supportive services to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and to create awareness and prevention education programs in a rural community which has yet to overcome the challenges of stigma, discrimination and denial of the epidemic.
ARE began with a number of volunteers who had the compassionate foresight to begin addressing the needs of the AIDS crisis in the Winchester community in the late 1980′s. Their initial effort was in establishing a support group and “buddy” system for those living with HIV/AIDS. A strong belief in quality HIV/AIDS client services and education has made ARE the sole provider of HIV/AIDS services in the Lord Fairfax Health District 7 (LFHD7) service area (Winchester City, Frederick, Warren, Clarke, Shenandoah and parts of Page counties).
In 1998 ARE and Valley Health Services created a pilot project to establish a Medical Management Clinic (MMC) for HIV/AIDS clients. These clients were able to have comprehensive case management and medical care, nutritional counseling, substance abuse and mental health care in a single appointment in a comfortable medical setting. This pilot project ended in September 2000 because of the changing health care needs of the clients. Many became healthier, returned to work or obtained Medicaid/Medicare services.
As the epidemic has changed from one of crisis to a chronic manageable disease, the needs of ARE clients have also changed. ARE now has clients that have a variety of needs that range from access to primary medical or dental care and case management, to needs for housing emergency food, transportation and drug assistance. ARE has been successful in providing access or referral to medical and specialty care for its client base.
Our staff provides all case management services, testing, and prevention education programs. Without ARE, those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS living in the Lord Fairfax Health District # 7 (LFHD7) would receive limited help with financial and supportive services directly related to their disease.