Drop-In Center featured in Our Health Magazine

Council of Community Services’ Drop-In Center was featured in the December 2014 – January 2015 Our Health Magazine. The article is a “must read”!

The article is part of a series from Our Health Magazine, the series explores disease that are not only devastating but also under discussed. The December-January edition focuses on HIV and features a longtime friend of the Center, Frank House in the article titled, “Breaking the Silence Living with HIV”.

The article also touches on HIV prevention, support, treatment, testing and our program, the Drop-In Center. In addition to sharing his courageous journey, Frank also gave the Center a great shout-out in his piece:

“The local Drop-In Center has and continues to provide needed support and activities for myself and many others dealing with HIV/AIDS,” he says. “Apart from what this valuable local organization does – testing, support, prevention, etc.- they have been a catalyst for me to share my story with many others in groups, at schools, and through the media.” – Frank House

Concluding this article, the Drop-In Center’s Pam Meador was interviewed on the testing efforts of the Center and the lengths she and her staff will go to get people tested. Here’s the article:

Drop-In Center Makes Getting Tested Quick, Easy

When it comes to getting people tested for HIV and Hepatitis C, the people at the Drop-In Center will do almost anything.

Our Health Magazine

December 2014 – January 2015

“The test that we use was developed to be a field test,” Pam Meador, the Drop-In Center’s director, says. “We’ll pitch a tent at a festival. We’ll go to a community center, a club, just anywhere where we can have some kind of confidential space and a flat service.”

“We do that so we can reach the folks who would not normally come through our front door. We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get an HIV or Hep C test if they’ve ever been at risk for either one. Before the Drop-In Center was formed, we did testing out of our cars, [in] people’s homes, literally any place that we could do a test safely.”

The Drop-In Center, located at 356 Campbell Ave SW in Roanoke, has been offering free HIV testing since 2004, and started offering free Hepatitis C testing in 2013. It also partners with area health departments, correction facilities, drug treatment centers, churches and other organizations to provide testing, education and other services.

“We do education at a lot of places, group-level interventions,” Meador says. “We do those at schools, at drug treatment centers, at shelters – just anywhere [where] someone may call us and say, “I’ve got a group and they need the basics about HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and Hepatitis.”

“We provide individual-level interventions [and] prevention counseling. It could be that we’re going to focus on life goal [or] that we’re going to work with them to get to their next medical appointment. Everything is centered about prevention and linkage to care.”

As its name indicates, those seeking testing can literally drop in anytime the office is open: from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Drop-In Center also has satellite offices at Virginia Tech and Radford University. Testing is free and involves a quick finger prick, and results are back in 20 minutes.

For more information, call 540.982.2437.

Click here to access full article.

Learn more about the Drop-In Center by clicking here.