Dec. 8, 2017 | For the fourth consecutive year, the UAMS 12th Street Health & Wellness Center observed World AIDS Day, and it has made the fight against AIDS an even more integral part of its health services by offering quarterly screenings for HIV.
At the Nov. 30 event, the center again offered free HIV screenings and a variety of other free health screenings, including blood pressure and glucose levels.
Since 1987, World AIDS Day has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, about 5,000 Arkansans are living with HIV/AIDS but only about half are in care for the disease
LINQ for Life and ARCare in cooperation with UAMS helped provide the HIV screenings using a mouth swab test. A private, nonprofit organization, ARCare provides affordable primary and dental care at 27 locations in Arkansas with a focus on patient, community and employee health. LINQ for Life, also a nonprofit organization, works to educate and increase awareness about HIV and AIDS.
Lanita White, Pharm.D., the center’s director, said LINQ for Life and ARCare have been and continue to be valuable partner organizations for UAMS in making testing accessible to people who want and need it.
“HIV and AIDS testing and treatment have improved greatly since the disease first was discovered and identified as a public health problem,” White said. “Many at-risk people who should receive testing and counseling unfortunately still go without those services.”
The 12th Street Health & Wellness Center is a free clinic run by students under supervision of licensed practitioners. It provides students from the UAMS Colleges of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and the Graduate School an avenue to learn from and with each other in an interprofessional setting. The center provides information about healthy living, preventive care, consultations and screenings for chronic health conditions to residents of the Little Rock Promise Neighborhood and surrounding areas.
UAMS student and faculty volunteers as well as volunteers from other organizations helped with examinations and answering health questions from patients.