The Ocean County Board of Health was recently awarded $92,000 in state funds for HIV/AIDS prevention work. The board is the only organization in the county to be awarded funds, but the amount is comparable to funding Ocean County received previously.
The board, whose main offices are on Sunset Avenue in Toms River, will use the money to fund HIV/AIDS prevention in Ocean County.
The county health board's spokesperson, Leslie D. Terjesen told Patch the county's Counseling and Testing Clinic tested 784 people last year, and up to late October had seen 578 this year.
"The $92,000 is dedicated to the Counseling and Testing Program as our HIV/AIDS Clinic is funded through Ryan White grant money. The $92,500 is comparable to what we have been receiving the past few years," Terjesen said.
The county board of health is the only organization in Ocean County to be awarded the grants. In total, the state gave more than $19.5 million in state funding for 54 community organizations, hospitals and health agencies for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in this grant announcement.
The state Department of Health estimates more than 36,000 people in New Jersey are currently living with HIV. Nearly 7,000 state residents with HIV/AIDS receive medications through the Department’s AIDS drug distribution program.
Terjesen outlined the services the Ocean County Health Department can provide residents who want to be tested or who have tested positive: "We also have the Ocean County HIV/AIDS clinic, which is a full service clinic for anyone who has HIV or AIDS and has no medical insurance," she said.
The Ocean County Health Department offers free, confidential HIV Counseling and Testing on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings each week from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at its main headquarters on 175 Sunset Avenue, Toms River. There are a limited number of daytime appointments in addition and can be made by calling 732-341-9700, ext. 7512. Bi-lingual counseling is also available.
Ocean County tested 784 people last year, while the state Health Department estimates 105,000 HIV tests were performed at 140 HIV testing sites last year. Testing sites, which are located in all 21 counties, include community organizations, hospitals, health departments, community health centers and other health care facilities.
Other grantees include the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, nearly $1.9 million; Cooper Health System in Camden, $976,753; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, $786,835; Camden Area Health Education Center, $704,642; Jersey City Medical Center, $648,000; the John Brooks Recovery Center in Atlantic City, $679,245; and the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City, $678,529.
Hyacinth, the oldest and largest organization in the state serving those with HIV/AIDS, received the largest funding award in the amount of $2.1 million.
The funding was divided up for specific purposes. While some agencies — such as the Ocean County Board of Health — received grants in one category, funding was also awarded for specific use for care and treatment, and behavoiral services. The $92,000 for Ocean County is for prevention services in fiscal year 2013.
To contact the Ocean County Health Department, visit its website here or call (732) 341-9700.
The full list of state grant awards is here.