By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Soon people living with AIDS in the Kansas City area will have a new option for care, one tailored specifically to their needs.
"We felt a location that combined it all, a one-stop shop if you will, is the best opportunity for those living with HIV/AIDS to avoid the stigma of going to large clinical facilities where anybody can be there, anybody can judge," said Aaron Nickless with the Good Samaritan Project.
Nickless said the first-of-its-kind facility in Kansas City will target one of the biggest problems for the patients they counsel.
"Many of our patients are low income, they've had difficulties with transportation, they might not own a car, not be on a bus line. When you have HIV/AIDS you have numerous medical appointments. By having a clinic here, where they have to visit their case manager anyway, we can combine so many of those trips into one," he said.
The Good Samaritan Project, which provides counseling and case management for people living with HIV/AIDS, teamed up with Truman Medical Center to build and staff the clinic.
"We felt the location here at Good Samaritan, which is HIV/AIDS exclusive, would be great. Truman Medical Center is a great collaborator, we've dealt with them before and they came through," Nickless said.
Nearly 5,000 Kansas Citians are living with HIV/AIDS, and Nickless hopes the clinic will mean those patients stay on their doctors' recommended treatment plans.
"They are prescribed drugs that they have to stay on their entire lives. They have to follow doctor's guidance to the letter. Unfortunately a lot of patients will start to feel good, maybe not take their meds, that's not a good thing," he said. "By having everyone here - medical professionals, case workers - in one building, that keeps everyone connected, to keep hammering home the message that this is a terrible lifelong affliction, you have to stay on it 24/7."
The clinic is scheduled to open by the end of October and is located at 31st and Main streets.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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