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V.I. INFORMATION ABOUT HIV/AIDS IS AVAILABLE

Oct. 2, 2002 – For persons needing help, information, or data about HIV/AIDS, here's a locally built Web site that is a gold mine of information: www.HIVClearinghouse.org. Established and maintained within the V.I. Health Department's Office of Minority Health, the Clearinghouse project has just been resumed.
The Office of Minority Health's program director, Phyllis Wallace, in a mission statement posted on the Clearinghouse Web site, states the office has the "exclusive purpose of building greater service capacity for minority populations in need."
"The Virgin Islands population is composed of 77 percent black non-Hispanic persons and 11 percent Hispanic persons, with the remainder white non-Hispanic. Our population consists of 34 percent foreign-born persons," the mission statement says.
The Clearinghouse, with a St. Croix office at the Ingeborg Nesbitt Clinic and a St. Thomas office in Barbel Plaza South:
– serves as a centralized office for collecting, analyzing and tracking existing epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS in the Territory;
– posts data and literature on the presence of special risk factor populations;
– posts data and literature about the existing provision of HIV/AIDS services for our ethnically diverse communities, nationally, internationally, locally, and regionally; and
– provides technical assistance to community-based organizations.
The HIV Clearinghouse Web site, says the mission statement, "was established for collecting, analyzing and tracking of existing epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS in the Territory, data on the presence of special risk factor populations and their location …"
Additionally, part of the project’s plan is to make the public aware of the services and programs offered by the various community-based organizations.
These stated objectives are carried out through the Web site at www.HIVClearinghouse.org, the newsletter, "HIVoice," fact sheets and notices of training and educational opportunities for persons serving the HIV/AIDS community. The FAQs [Frequently Asked Questions] section of the Web site contains a comprehensive list Internet links for more information, especially statistical and legal information. The V.I. community-based directory, also on the Web site, can lead persons in need of help to a number of public and private agencies that provide HIV/AIDS services.
The HIV/AIDS surveillance quarterly report has been posted for cases repored through June 30, 2002. Facts reported in the overview:
– The cumulative number of AIDS cases reported to the V.I. Health Department since 1983 is 512. Six new cases were reported in the current quarter.
– The cumulative number of HIV cases reported is 228. Among these, 93 percent are known to be living. Thirteen cases were first reported in the current quarter.
There are detailed demographics and clear explanatory figures with much additional information.
The Clearinghouse does not solicit funds. It serves solely as a resource information broker for community organizations and health care providers for those living with HIV/AIDS.)
The St. Thomas/St. John District Coordinator is Gritell C. Thompson. She can be reached at 340-715-0963 or by e-mail at gcthompson@hivclearinghouse.org
The St. Croix office of the Clearinghouse program is at the Ingeborg Health Clinic, 772-0260, ext. 2171. A district coordinator will be named.
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