Thrive by IU Health

June 25, 2019

IU Health expands HIV services across Indiana

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

IU Health expands HIV services across Indiana

IU Health Positive Link offers a community-based program for HIV patients in 49 counties across the state.

It’s been 20 years since Thomas Dyer learned he was infected with HIV.

A graduate of Indiana University, he had moved to LA and was advised at the time to go on medication. He was even going to take part in a study of a vaccine to prevent HIV. But he put off treatments.

“There were a lot of people of my orientation, a lot of promiscuity. I did not have any symptoms and I was in good health. I delayed medications out of fear and ignorance,” said Dyer, who is back in Bloomington. In April of 2013 he began taking part in the services of Positive Link, a program that started in 1991 and has expanded over the years to offer services in 49 counties. The IU Health program offers a range of services specific to those impacted by HIV. Those services include risk reduction planning, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) navigation, outreach and community groups, and HIV testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested once for HIV as part of routine healthcare. On June 27, LifeCare, a program that has served hundreds of Indiana clients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), will offer free HIV testing from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. LifeCare is located at 1633 N. Capitol Ave., Suite 300, Indianapolis. Positive Link will also offer free testing at sites in Terre Haute, Bloomington and Paoli.

As part of National HIV Testing Day various healthcare providers and outreach programs come together to raise awareness of early prevention and early detection.

Positive Link collaborates with LifeCare to provide the best patient care to the growing clientele throughout the state. The care goes beyond medical needs.

Dyer utilized the Bloomington program to secure housing and transportation to and from his doctor visits and the pharmacy.

“The toughest part of me dealing with HIV was from 2001-2012 when there were limited services. I was living paycheck to paycheck and was dealing with stress and alcoholism,” said Dyer.

He relies on the food pantry for meal planning and also takes part in the “Positive Eats” workshop that provides information about diet and nutrition. Through Positive Link Dyer receives substance abuse counseling at home, assistance with obtaining and understanding medical insurance, emergency financial assistance, and medical case management.

“We really work to collaborate with other HIV providers to serve as a unifying point to bring together the best clinical care for our clients,” said Jill Stowers, a licensed social worker and clinical lead manager for Positive Link. “One of the things I’ve always suspected is people with HIV rarely access primary care for an infectious disease. They still need primary care but they also need so much more.” Throughout the state, programs are geared toward the needs in particular geographical areas. Many include bilingual services and additional education about risk and prevention.

Last year, Positive Link provided services to more than 1,200 individuals living with HIV, said Stowers. “Some clients received more than one service. The breakout is about 74 percent male; 14 percent female and two percent transgender.” Additionally, about 100 clients are served through the East Central Region offices, and 85 through the West Central Region offices. “Of those clients we found out of care, 74 percent have reengaged in medical care and over 93 percent who have been back in care for over six months are now virally suppressed,” said Stowers.

Richard Root’s brother died in 1990 of complications from HIV. It was a time when society was still uncertain of the causes and effects of the disease.

“I was accused of having AIDS because I have a gay brother. Back then they thought you could get it anyway possible. I’m straight and I ran back and forth from Indiana to Kansas with drugs and women. I never thought I’d test positive for HIV,” said Root.

He attended an education workshop on sexually transmitted diseases and tested positive for HIV in 2007.

“As soon as I heard it I felt like I was marked for death. There were 30 people in the room and I was the only one crying because I knew about my brother,” said Root. Since 2007, he has relied on Positive Link to help him navigate his diagnosis.

“What I love about the program is that the clients are an amazing group of people. I learn from them as much as they say they learn from us. Since we do long term case management I have clients that have been with us since 1994,” said Julie Hiles, a care coordinator who has been with Positive Link for 25 years. She is one of four care coordinators in Bloomington. At any given time each one has a caseload of about 50-70 clients. “It’s great to see how their lives have changed and it’s great to be part of their lives and help them get stronger, healthier and become more successful.

-- By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.

Featured Services

Infectious Disease

Infectious disease care includes prevention, diagnosis and treatment all types of infections.

LGBT Health

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients are at a higher risk for certain health conditions. Knowing your risks and communicating concerns with your provider can help you receive the best care and meet your health goals.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

A disease that attacks the cells of your immune system, substantially decreasing your ability of fight infection.

Viral Infections

These infections survive by spreading their genetic material (RNA and DNA) throughout your body and killing your cells.

Latest Stories

Filter from

October 26, 2020 3 Healthcare Topics Every Hoosier Should Know About Before They Vote As we approach Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3, healthcare continues to rank high on ju... October 25, 2020 He thought he had COVID-19; Nurse practitioner suspected something else Ryan Gillen is beyond grateful. He says one special nurse who discovered his illness, i... October 22, 2020 Cancer patient, 28: ‘People say 2020 has been bad, but for me it’s a blessing’ He’s young, launching his professional career and he’s facing the challenges of a cance... October 22, 2020 For this student nurse, COVID unit has helped her grow PCA Kate Davenport: “It’s so important to meet people where they are and offer support,... October 21, 2020 Grant Expands Dementia-Support Services in Southern Indiana “It really does take a village when it comes to dementia care,” said Dayna Thompson, an... October 21, 2020 What Characteristics are the Most Important Part of a Safe & Effective Weight Loss Program? In today’s digital age, you can find weight loss plans everywhere. From diet pills that... October 20, 2020 This doctor has a reason to be a real man wearing pink Each year, the American Cancer Society raises money and awareness for breast cancer wit... October 15, 2020 Elementary teacher, 28, diagnosed with breast cancer Both her grandmothers had breast cancer, but Sarah Clark had no reason to believe her d... October 14, 2020 When Minutes Count: Know Risk Factors for Stroke Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and is a leading cause of long-term disabili... October 14, 2020 Putting on the White Coat: Celebrating an IU School of Medicine Bicentennial Scholar Image courtesy of IU School of Medicine Where once walked a scribe, following doctors ... October 13, 2020 Infant Loss: Two Mothers Open their Arms to Those who suffer Two Nurses at IU Health Arnett both suffered the loss of their precious newborns. Their... October 12, 2020 Philanthropy Funds Rooftop Garden to Offer Patients, Loved Ones and Team Members a Breath of Fresh Air In the midst of uncertainty and stress, it’s important that all of us take a moment to ... October 12, 2020 Understand the importance of safe sleep While the prevalence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the United States has de... October 12, 2020 Olcott’s Gift Paves Way for Nurse Navigation at the New Regional Academic Health Center Joan Olcott will be long remembered as an important figure in the Bloomington community... October 11, 2020 Breast cancer patient found lump two weeks before mammogram At the recommendation of her family physician, Kelly Kelso scheduled a mammogram. Two w... October 09, 2020 Merriman Award Honors Compassionate Team Members Statewide Five IU Health team members around the state have won the “Lynda,” the Lynda A. Merrima... October 09, 2020 From Riley to University Hospital – Patient relies on music therapy He first came to IU Health as an infant and recently when he came back as an adult, Nat... October 07, 2020 Former school bus driver fights pancreatic cancer For 25 years, Alan “Dale” Albright drove a school bus. He looked at the kids on his rou... October 06, 2020 How Could My Alcohol Use Affect My Family? “It’s just one more drink.” “I haven’t had any legal problems.” “I worked really hard t... October 06, 2020 IU Health midwifery practice invites women to “call the midwife” In a nod to the popular PBS television series “Call the Midwife,” four IU Health nurse ... October 01, 2020 Mother’s devotion: Driven to improving mental health care After years of experiencing firsthand her son’s diagnosis of mental illness, Joan Ester... September 30, 2020 LifeLine crew reunites with seriously injured teen airlifted to Methodist It was his second time to board a LifeLine helicopter and this time, Brandon Stuckwish ... September 29, 2020 How to Recognize & Prevent Heart Disease During COVID-19 Have you given much thought to your heart this year? During the COVID-19 pandemic, ma... September 29, 2020 IU Health, IPS launch career development program at Crispus Attucks Upon graduation and completion of the fellowship program, students will be guaranteed a... September 28, 2020 Grant Connects People in Rural Communities to Emergency Behavioral Care Thanks to a new grant secured by IU Health Foundation, people in rural communities in n... September 24, 2020 White Memorial helping patient move from a motorized cart to walking the fields Gene Dallinger suffers from COPD and started working with pulmonary rehab at IU Health ... September 24, 2020 From North Africa to the U.S.: Expatriate encourages community engagement A native of Algeria, Mohamed Merzoug joined IU Health’s Community Outreach and Engageme... September 24, 2020 As he retires: Transplant leader dedicated to patients and hospital community After more than a decade of serving as IU Health’s Medical Director of Kidney & Pancrea... September 23, 2020 Lab worker driven by niece’s death from sepsis Thousands of children die each year as a result of severe sepsis. Matthew “Trevor” O’He... September 22, 2020 Methodist childbirth educator looks forward to Riley move The new maternity tower at Riley will centralize all inpatient and newborn care so even... September 21, 2020 In Pursuit of Health Equity: An Evolution in Healthcare At the crossroads of storylines between the COVID-19 pandemic and summer-long protests ... September 21, 2020 Practicing Mindfulness During Times of Uncertainty The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the fact that things in life can be out of our co... September 18, 2020 IU Health Arnett donates masks to local food banks Indiana University Health Arnett is donating masks to local food banks to help improve ... September 17, 2020 Two surgeries, one day - Father donates kidney to son When his son’s kidneys began to fail, Shannon Dobrucki did what most fathers would do –... September 16, 2020 IU Health Foundation’s Jessica Journey Receives International Industry Honor “Serving people with excellence, compassion, ethics, and positivity” has earned Jessica... September 15, 2020 Her nursing career is an extension of her life of empathy for others Melyssa Sams started her career later in life but she’s always been headed toward nursi... September 15, 2020 Hospital dietitian first came to IU Health as a pediatric patient Long before she even knew about careers in healthcare, Jennifer Golding was a patient a... September 14, 2020 Wear a Mask Because You Care … and Because It Works One of the best ways to protect yourself, your loved ones and the people in your commun... September 14, 2020 Why it’s Crucial to Get Your Flu Shot in 2020 2020 has taught us a lot of lessons. One major lesson being the importance of maintaini... September 10, 2020 Nurse: “I chose IU Health because I trust the oncology care” There are hospitals closer to her home, but when DaJuana Moore was diagnosed with breas... September 09, 2020 College student recovering from bone marrow transplant When she discovered the mass two years ago, Mayra Rodriguez completed treatment at IU H... September 09, 2020 IU Health Foundation Funds Officer Down Kits for Tipton Police & Tipton County Sheriff's Departments Pictured from Left: Thomas Sliwa, MD – Emergency Medicine; Brad Robins – Sergeant Tipto... September 09, 2020 IU Health Foundation Grant Helps People Quit Smoking Indiana ranks fifth-highest in the nation for tobacco use, but the IU Health West Centr... September 08, 2020 IU Health Team Member Gives to Transform Healthcare Inequities For Craig Brooks, transformation manager for IU Health Physicians, “transformation” is ... September 07, 2020 Healthcare at home with virtual visits As the COVID-19 case number increases throughout Indiana, more and more Hoosiers are fa... September 04, 2020 Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital opens COVID-19 testing site TIPTON, Ind. – Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital understands the need for a loc... September 03, 2020 Brain surgery on a former president? We can do that From president to patient: Amos Sawyer led the country of Liberia for four years, but i... September 03, 2020 Pharmacy Technician: "I'm exactly where I need to be." For 23 years, Jennifer Harshman has worked as a pharmacy technician. Throughout Harshma... September 02, 2020 Is Addiction Really a Disease? Is addiction really a disease or a matter of choice? Ask the mother who lost her 19-yea... September 02, 2020 Occupational therapist starts sexual health program for cancer survivors Addie Jacobs, occupational therapist at IU Health West Hospital, developed the idea for... August 31, 2020 Administrative Coordinator celebrates ninth year at IU Health Saxony Hospital Holli Smith, administrative coordinator, celebrated her ninth year as an IU Health Saxo... August 28, 2020 How COVID-19 Affects Heart Health COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus that is closely associated with a very importan... August 28, 2020 Guest Relations team members work to provide patients and visitors with a memorable experience Sonali Patel and Emely Villalta know how difficult it can be for patients and visitors ... August 27, 2020 Open Arms Miscarriage and Infant Loss Support Group Two nurses from IU Health Arnett are teaming up to lead a support group called Open Arm... August 26, 2020 Father Patrick is a ray of sunshine at Methodist Hospital “Chaplaincy is not all about religion. It’s about being present through human suffering... August 25, 2020 Saxony Knee Replacement Patient is Grateful for Her Personalized Care Andrea Colbert worked with Dr. Leonard Buller, orthopedic surgeon at IU Health Saxony H... August 25, 2020 Q3 2020 Quarterly Report: Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation joins IU Health Foundation family Crystal Hinson Miller, chief philanthropy officer for Indiana University Health and pre... August 20, 2020 COVID patient with down syndrome: “Thank you God; You saved the day” She was alone and an hour away from the most trusted people in her life – her parents. ... August 19, 2020 New Website Focuses on Possibilities of Philanthropy Three years after IU Health Foundation opened its doors, a revamped website focuses on ... August 19, 2020 Patient: “Extremely rare disease diagnosed because I was at a teaching hospital” Some of her symptoms went unrecognized; others were more obvious. In the end, it was a ... August 17, 2020 IU Health North Clinical Educator Supports New Nurses and PCAs Megan Miller, clinical educator at IU Health North Hospital, discovered her love of nur... August 17, 2020 IU Health Frankfort now offers Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) “PFTs are a group of tests that measure how well your lungs work,” explains Kareena Wel... August 17, 2020 Nurse: “I can help save people but I can also give them dignity in the final time” She’s spent three decades caring for critically ill patients. Jennifer McAvene knows th... August 17, 2020 IU Health North Lactation Consultant Helps Mothers Through Their Breastfeeding Journey After experiencing personal struggles with breastfeeding, Martha Ollikainen, neonatal i... August 14, 2020 IU Health West Lactation Consultant Shares the Importance of Breastfeeding Jan Record, lactation consultant at IU Health West Hospital, knows how difficult breast... August 13, 2020 Transplant patient: “The nurses were my lifesavers” At the worst of times, Angela Michael was so ill she didn’t think she could make it thr... August 11, 2020 Nurse Spotlight: Ashley Ritsema After suffering a pregnancy loss, Ashley Ritsema, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) n... August 10, 2020 COVID-19 Funds Expand Yoga Programs Donors to the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund have helped to bring the healing powers of y... August 05, 2020 IU Health to add eight blocks to downtown campus, build new $1.6B hospital In a major transformation of its downtown medical campus, Indiana University Health pla... August 05, 2020 IU Health files plans for transformative new hospital in downtown Indianapolis INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University Health has outlined plans for a world-class ho... August 04, 2020 Patient donated kidney, received kidney and enjoying fresh start He has a giving heart. So when his brother needed a kidney, Harambee Purnell donated hi... August 03, 2020 Take a trip through the decades at Methodist safety fair CVCC nurses refresh their skills during an annual training event that aims to teach whi... July 31, 2020 Virtual education, coaching leads to diabetes prevention Have you been told you have prediabetes signs and symptoms? IU Health has a plan in pla... July 28, 2020 Nurse is a ‘Teacher’ in a Different Classroom She just completed 30 years at IU Health and Nurse Melissa Coxey is realizing her caree... July 23, 2020 What You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes & Vaping: Your Guide to the Latest Facts Much to tobacco companies' delight, electronic cigarettes and vaping have caught on sin... July 23, 2020 From New York Designer to Andretti Racing: Cancer connects patient to supporters William “Bill” Ramey’s small town spans two Indiana counties. Since his cancer diagnosi... July 20, 2020 Are Addiction and Dependence the Same Thing? A recent study found that a staggering two out of three Hoosiers know someone strugglin... July 16, 2020 Program plans for expansion: No One Dies Alone When it started, there was no pandemic, but there were still patients who were alone in... July 13, 2020 IU Health Arnett Hospital first to perform Percutaneous Closures of PFO and ASD A Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is a small hole in the heart that did not close the way it... July 10, 2020 Putting the PT in “redePloymenT” During the COVID-19 peak quarantine time, a lot of hardworking healthcare employees all... July 09, 2020 We’re here to support you To You, Our Valued Patients: No matter what’s going on in the world, you deserve to ... July 07, 2020 “Move Up” grant supports team member career growth An IU Health Foundation grant is delivering a double benefit: By helping to equip IU He... July 07, 2020 Working for 30 Years to Correct Racial Inequities When IU Health Foundation announced the creation of a new Racial Equity in Healthcare F... July 06, 2020 Imaging tech has dedicated 37 years with hospital Gay Calloway loves her job with IU Health University Hospital. She has worked at a CT t... July 06, 2020 Many hearts hurting for tragic death of intensive care worker She always wanted to work in a hospital and loved her job at IU Health, in part because... June 30, 2020 Q2 2020 Quarterly Report: Innovation investments allow for turn-on-a-dime response Crystal Hinson Miller, chief philanthropy officer for Indiana University Health and pre... June 30, 2020 Groundbreaking surgery provides relief for debilitating pancreatitis In what is a first for IU Health, and for Indiana, a team of specialists recently compl... June 29, 2020 Tired of isolation? What to do about quarantine fatigue Even as Indiana begins to reopen its doors, many residents remain skeptical and fearful... June 28, 2020 Four Family Members Died; Five Others Tested Positive for COVID-19 They had no idea that a novel virus could spread so quickly. It was the early part of t... June 25, 2020 COVID-19 Update: Safely opening up more access to Primary Care To You, Our Valued Patients: As summer begins, and Indiana continues to make progres... June 25, 2020 Nurse helped injured motorcyclist: “I just did what I needed to do.” She was on her way to her day shift at IU Health University Hospital when she stopped t... June 22, 2020 Coping with dementia: A family affair Your loved one is confused or disoriented. Is it signs of dementia? How you can help. ... June 19, 2020 Dorthy Deckard, RN, provides compassionate care "Dorthy Deckard [is] selfless and serving to her fellow humans, always," wrote Sharon A... June 18, 2020 Hospital in the home helps patients convalesce in comfort A new program at IU Health allows patients to return to the comfort of their homes afte... June 17, 2020 New moms reach out for help as anxiety kicks in “I would just lie in bed while Hannah was sleeping, and my heart would pound and my min... June 16, 2020 Transplant patients take steps toward independence in COLTT program Zelle Crawford gave up a career in engineering for one in physical therapy, and he coul... June 15, 2020 IU Health implementa restricciones actualizadas temporales para los visitantes A partir del 15 de junio, IU Health comenzó a mitigar algunas de las restricciones temp... June 14, 2020 A spectrum of color - Remembering patients entrusted in their care When a patient dies at IU Health, a team of caregivers gathers to remember and honor a ... June 12, 2020 How we’ll be keeping you informed this summer To You, Our Valued Patients: It’s been a long road, but we’re in a new phase. Like y... June 12, 2020 Nurse Norma Wethington leads with compassion Norma Wethington, LPN, leads with compassion toward team members and patients alike. A ...