- Largest HIV primary care clinic in the state
- Only two HIV board certified clinicians in the state and patients with 95% viral load suppression, higher than the national average
- The only Ryan White funded program in the state that is open 5 days/ wk with 24/7 coverage
- The only Ryan White funded program in the state that has Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder counseling on site
- Only STD Clinic remaining in the state with the only Disease Intervention Specialist in the state on-site
- Largest and southern-most needle exchange program in the state
- Offers services to EVERYONE- with or without insurance. Some services are billed to insurance, some services are paid for out-of-pocket, and some are free
- The programs at India Street are 80% GRANT FUNDED and only 20% comes from the city’s budget
- The existence of India Street Public Health is not a duplication of services.
Nowhere else in greater Portland can a person receive low-cost STD testing, free treatment for an STD, harm reduction education, clean needles and injecting equipment and comprehensive HIV medical care.
- There is little evidence that the unique, integrated services that India Street offers will continue with the same quality and accessibility if it is to transition to PCHC.
None of the grants required to fund these services have been secured by PCHC. Certification to run a needle exchange program has not been obtained. It is unclear if the medical staff at PCHC have experience with HIV specialty care, safe injecting practices and advice, overdose prevention training, or disease intervention guidelines.
- India Street Public Health’s Needle Exchange Program is a unique public service that requires a location that is convenient, discreet, and safe for both the clients accessing the service, and the community.
India Street Public Health is right off of the highway, it’s easy to find and it has a parking lot. Housed within a medical practice, routine testing, wound care, and narcan are available to every exchange client. The only medical detox program in southern Maine, Milestone, is down the street and works closely with the needle exchange staff.
- India Street Public Health offers education and outreach to a variety of community partners who will not be able to access the quality of information provided by the staff.
HIV and Hepatitis C Testing, STD education, overdose prevention and harm reduction themed groups are scheduled weekly and monthly and presented to staff and clients of Milestone Foundation, Catholic Charities, Day One, Preble Street, Recover Together, Grace Street Services, Cumberland County Jail, University of Southern Maine and Oxford Street Shelter. Staff at India Street regularly receive phone calls regarding STD treatment information, safe needle disposal, and access to narcan, HIV medications, and more.
Viral Load Suppression:
The term “viral load” refers to the amount of HIV in a sample of your blood. When your viral load is high, you have more HIV in your body, and that means your immune system is not fighting HIV as well.
A well suppressed viral load can help you live a longer, healthier life and reduce your risk of HIV transmission. Viral load suppression is a key factor in the prevention of the transmission of HIV.
India Street Public Health: 95% viral load suppression
Ryan White Funded Clinics: 80% viral load suppression
National Average: 60-70% viral load suppression
Ryan White Funded Program:
Clinics that provide a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or under-insured.
Disease Intervention Specialist: Employed by the Centers for Disease Control, these specialists conduct voluntary interviews with patients to obtain the names and contact information of their sexual partner(s) and then use that information to contact a patient’s sexual partner(s) and inform them of their potential exposure to an STD or HIV. This work breaks the chain of disease transmission and protects the community’s health.
Also known as naloxone, narcan is used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.