Support group sees spike in people living with HIV seeking servi - Tucson News Now

Support group sees spike in people living with HIV seeking services

TIHAN connects people with services for emotional support, advocacy, regular telephone contact, hospital visits, transportation needs, care packages, and emergency financial assistance. (Source: TIHAN) TIHAN connects people with services for emotional support, advocacy, regular telephone contact, hospital visits, transportation needs, care packages, and emergency financial assistance. (Source: TIHAN)
PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN) says in the first half of the year, the organization served 15 more people living with HIV compared to the same time period last year.

TIHAN program manager Deirdre Demers says the organization usually serves about 300 clients, but that figure continues to increase.  In 2015 TIHAN served 326 people and is now on pace to surpass that number.

“Nationwide there isn’t any real increase in the infection rates," says Demers.  "We do know there is an increase in people getting tested.”  

TIHAN connects people with services for emotional support, advocacy, regular telephone contact, hospital visits, transportation needs, care packages, and emergency financial assistance.

“I spent a lot of time thinking when is my number going to be up and watched a lot of my friends pass away," says Tim Haver.  He was diagnosed with HIV in 1986.  He attended a monthly TIHAN luncheon in 1994, and it changed the way he viewed his future.

“It was such a wonderful blessing to know that I wasn’t alone and that things were not as dark and gloomy as they were in the past," says Haver.

The group is able to support its mission with volunteers and donations. TIHAN currently needs help stocking its shelves with paper towels to keep up with demand for their monthly care packages. Donations can be dropped off at 2660 N. First Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Anyone who can give their time is encouraged to visit their website.

In Pima County, it is estimated about 3,000 people are living with HIV. 

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