Preventing and treating HIV through advocacy, education and awareness
Providing Service Since 1987
MISSION | VISION | PURPOSE
Preventing and treating HIV through direct services, advocacy, education and awareness.
AID Upstate is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides supportive services to people affected by HIV/AIDS in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee and Pickens Counties of South Carolina.
AID Upstate was incorporated in 1987. The organization began several years earlier as a committee and task force composed of individuals working in public health in response to a then unnamed illness that was primarily affecting young gay men and rapidly progressing to death. This grass-roots response to the AIDS pandemic developed into a consortium of public and private health organizations, service organizations, interested individuals and persons living with HIV.
AID Upstate collected modest dues for membership and elected a board of directors to provide oversight and direction of the organization. A Greenville Chapter and a Tri-County Chapter formed to provide information and education and address the misinformation, confusion and hysteria on a local level. In the early to mid-eighties, it was common for families to reject the person diagnosed with HIV resulting in homelessness and abandonment.
In settings that continued to support the person with HIV, many had dedicated table settings for the sick person, or used disposable plates and utensils for fear of “catching” the disease. Discrimination extended from family and friends to medical providers, hospital staffs, landlords, social service providers, church ministers and congregations, nursing homes, and even mortuaries. AID Upstate volunteers worked to provide comfort to the sick and dying, and to address unfounded rumors, misinformation, stigma, and prejudice. As facts on the disease were discovered, these volunteers worked to provide accurate up to date information on infection and prevention modalities.
Currently, a 14 member volunteer board of directors governs AID Upstate; the CEO oversees the day-to-day operations and management. Program directors oversee specific programs including client services, prevention, development, and the residential facility. Approximately 53 individuals are employed in support of the provision of high quality direct and prevention services.
AID Upstate (AU) provides services to individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other individual characteristics. A diverse staff is employed to relate to clients served including case manager and prevention coordinator fluent in Spanish (English/Spanish).
AID Upstate is the only provider of comprehensive HIV care and prevention services in the service area (Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties). Care services include medical case management, referrals/payment for medical care, health insurance and copayment costs, food pantry, transportation, pharmaceutical assistance, mental health, addictions counseling, short-term rent, mortgage, utilities, long-term housing, adherence and treatment education, and risk reduction counseling. Partnerships include New Horizon Family Health Services, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and a Ryan White Part C provider, the Phoenix Center (alcohol and other drug abuse treatment center) and AnMed. Prevention services have been provided for over 16 years and currently include HIV counseling and testing, internet and other social media outreach, and approved behavioral modification interventions.
Currently, a 16 member volunteer board of directors governs AID Upstate; the CEO oversees the day-to-day operations and management. Program directors oversee specific programs including client services, prevention, development, and the residential facility. Approximately 33 individuals are employed in support of the provision of high quality direct and prevention services. Over 1,050 individuals living with HIV received medical case management and/or care services in the prior year. The prevention team provided HIV testing to over 1,200 clients and individual or group level intervention prevention services to over 2,500 clients. The current budget exceeds $12.2 million including all programs (Ryan White services; HUD funded housing activities; CDC funded prevention, counseling, testing; community grants; local contributions and fundraising).
AID Upstate has contracted with SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) since 1992 to provide services including Ryan White Part B, HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), CDC prevention programs, Minority AIDS Initiative Programs, and a CDC Demonstration Project, ARTAS Linkage to Care. AU has worked with SC DHEC to develop/update protocols for community based HIV testing and to build capacity in other communities and organizations.