Since 1991, A Positive Place, formerly AIDS CARE/Hampshire County, has been the sole provider of comprehensive, confidential case management and health-related support services, filling life saving needs for people living with HIV/AIDS in the county. Anyone living with HIV or AIDS is eligible for services regardless of level of need, health status, or ability to pay. Our services are free of charge to people living with HIV.
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS and to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus in our community. Our multidisciplinary HIV Care team works with medical partners, clients and other providers to enhance health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS, ensure equitable access to and retention in care, reduce transmission of the virus, and decrease health disparities based on ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation.
Philosophy & Services
To help us meet these goals we provide the following services using a harm reduction, trauma-informed framework that is culturally competent and inclusive of diverse backgrounds and needs. Services are provided at our community-based offices in downtown Northampton, at clients’ homes, and at provider sites and other programs where clients may reside.
Case Management for Medical and Social Services
This refers to on-going assistance in accessing all resources for people living with the virus including referrals and accompaniment to HIV/AIDS knowledgeable doctors, and little-known resources available to people infected with HIV/AIDS. Our case managers also provide education about the disease and different medications; help newly diagnosed individuals notify partners and share information with family and friends; support clients in living a full, healthy, and active life while preventing transmission of the virus; coordinate medical care and social services; and offer non-judgmental emotional support, advocacy and referrals.
Medical Care Coordination
Our Medical Case Manager works one-on-one with patients to ensure that all medical care - including primary care, infectious disease and other specialty care, mental health, substance use, dental – is scheduled promptly and coordinated efficiently between providers. She tracks lab work schedules, annual exams, and acts as a liaison between providers to ensure that communication is appropriately shared to benefit patients. She is an avid listener and top-notch educator when it comes to reducing risk through sexual and/or drug using activities.
There are many resources and financial assistance programs designed specifically for people living with HIV that support their economic, residential, medical, and social stability. These include federal and state entitlements such as Social Security, health insurance, drug reimbursement, food stamps, EAEDC, TANF, etc. as well as local resources that help cover the cost of car repairs, rental arrears, and the like. Our Resource Specialist keeps current and familiar with ever changing rules and regulations, and is especially adept at supporting individuals and families in navigating complex systems and institutions. She maintains close relationships with contacts at programs and helps clients fill out applications, follow up with programs, and advocate for their own needs.
In order to support adherence to treatment and maintenance of health, A Positive Place provides eligible HIV+ clients with limited emergency assistance in the form of food vouchers to supplement their nutritional needs, over-the-counter medications, and access to rental and utilities assistance.
Information & Referrals
A Positive Place has a wide network of interagency collaborations with other providers throughout the region, all of which serve as links in our integrated, continuum of care for our clients. Where ACHC staff leaves off, these others take up, supporting clients from initial phone contact to accompanying them for a first visit with an external provider.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital • 30 Locust St. (Route 9), Northampton, Mass. • (413) 582-2000