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World AIDS Day: Resources for HIV/AIDS in New Jersey

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
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The year 2020 has brought on worry about new health concerns since the onset of Coronavirus. However, those alive in the early 1980s remember another disease that grew to pandemic proportions around the world with the AIDS pandemic. Since then, HIV has always been considered to be at epidemic numbers. 

In 2019, an estimated 1.7 million people worldwide reported new cases of the virus, a number three times higher than what The United Nations AIDS set out to report that year. Here in New Jersey, about 37,000 residents are living with HIV, putting the state as the fourth highest for HIV cases. With new medical advancements and treatments, an HIV+ test result is no longer a death sentence. For patients who have access to regular antiviral treatment, life expectancy is just as high as their HIV-negative counterparts. 

Contracting HIV is preventable, but the reality is that thousands of people will contract this disease yearly. Bringing awareness to this virus, removing stigma, and creating a supportive community are all ways we can fight this together. Read on for a list of resources for those living with HIV, those in the most at-risk communities, caregivers, and allies.

aids hiv resources new jersey

Beacon Light Fund {Annandale}

Financial assistance is great support for most health concerns, but especially for life diagnosis like HIV/AIDS. The Beacon Light Fund provides this financial assistance for those living with HIV/AIDS to pay providers directly for services such as rent, utilities, phone bills, home care services, medical equipment, health supplies, and more. Additionally, any person affected by HIV/AIDS living in the Greater New York/ New Jersey area making less than $1200 per month may qualify for special financial assistance from Beacon Light Fund. If you think you or a loved one could qualify for these services, contact the fund here.

Broadway House for Continuing Care {298 Broadway, Newark}

Broadway House is the only specialized care center for those living with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey. Since its inception in 1995, Broadway House has been providing post-acute care for men and women living with this virus. In addition to healthcare services, those who visit Broadway House are provided with education and rehabilitative services to allow for a full life. Donations are accepted and can be given here.

Buddies of NJ Inc. {149 Hudson Street, Hackensack}

Buddies of NJ operates as a non-profit organization providing resources, a network of support, education, and services for those living with HIV/AIDS. Some of its services include free rapid HIV testing, substance abuse counseling, medical case management, housing and housing assistance, transportation services, a food bank, peer support, and more. All events and resources are made possible by donors and volunteers. For more information on how to support this organization, follow the link here.

Edge New Jersey {3155 Route 10, Denville}

Through supportive services, housing opportunities, prevention strategies, education, and more, Edge New Jersey is committed to serving the HIV+ and LGTBQ+ community at large. The center is for the community at large and provides resources not only for those living with HIV or those who identify as LGBTQ+ but also loved ones, caregivers, and allies. The Edge center and services rely heavily on the support of donors and volunteers. Learn more about its services here.

HIV/AIDS Planning Council {830 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City}

Over 5,000 people in Hudson County are living with HIV. Just like others living with HIV in various parts of the world, key issues such as access to proper treatment, financial assistance, testing, housing, and more. This council has been in existence for over 25 years and works to set the priorities for HIV/AIDS treatment for the county. Volunteer work is always accepted, and the council has various committees to join. More information on the council and how to help can be found here.

Hudson PRIDE Center {176 Palisades Avenue, Jersey City}

Hudson PRIDE is located in the largest LGBTQ community in New Jersey. Since the 1990s, they have advocated for the rights of those in the LGBTQ community as well as those living with HIV/AIDS. Some of its current programs and resources include social groups for those living with HIV/AIDS (broken down by age with one for seniors and one for youth), HIV prevention support groups, a link for HIV care no matter insurance status or previous care received, HIV treatment counseling, trans-gender affirming counseling, and more. Volunteers make the work of Hudson PRIDE possible. To join a welcoming community and volunteer for a great cause, find opportunities here.

Hyacinth AIDS Foundation {100 Hamilton Plaza, Paterson}

For over 35 years, Hyacinth AIDS Foundation has been fighting to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New Jersey. Through its work, they are making lives a bit easier to live for those with HIV and speaking up in the public debate surrounding AIDS in this state. HIV testing is available for those in need of this service. What is needed most now is donations. As shared on its site, no amount is too small. To help Hyacinth in its journey, donate here.

NAMES Foundation of New Jersey {Port Reading}

The mission of this organization is simple, to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS and to serve as a local AIDS service organization. In addition to its own work, NAMES works to build alliances with other AIDS services and organizations. Greif support and counseling is available for those who have lost a loved one to this virus and AIDS-related diseases. Two general meetings are held per year—one in the springtime with the other being held on December 1st, World AIDS Day. To learn more about its meetings and services, visit NAMES’ website.

Prevention Resource Network {816 Sunset Avenue, Asbury Park}

Helping to stop the spread of HIV includes educating those that are both HIV+ and HIV-. Prevention Resource Network does just that.  Funded by the NJ Department of Health, Division of HIV, STD and TB Services, PRN is able to provide services such as social events, peer support groups, wellness programming, and harm reduction programming which focuses on high-risk behavior like drug use. Learn more about each program, donate to keep these services going, and watch educational videos to learn more about this epidemic and those affected here.

The Coalition on AIDS in Passaic County (CAPCO) {100 Hamilton Plaza, Paterson}

Case management services are important for those living with HIV/AIDS as nearly 30% are uninsured. CAPCO is a private non-profit organization that provides these services for those living with HIV as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. For over 30 years, they have been a go-to resource for financial assistance and wellness counseling in Bergen and Passaic counties. Donation and volunteer opportunities are always available. If interested, find out more in its resource center.


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