First outpatient HIV clinic opens in east side, cases on the rise

Reported HIV cases are on the rise in Bexar County. A new clinic offers resources to HIV-positive patients.

SAN ANTONIO - Bexar County has a serious problem when it comes to the number of reported HIV cases. According to recent data, the county continues to uptick higher than the state and national average.

The San Antonio Aids Foundation recently opened its first outpatient HIV clinic in the east side of the city. 

SAAF CEO Cynthia Nelson said the clinic is a dream because it offers a wide range of services to HIV-positive patients.

"I think they feel very comfortable coming here," she said.

She said many of the clients they serve are low-income. 

"Our goal is to have people in care and suppress the virus," Nelson said.

The new outpatient clinic is a one-stop shop. Patients don't even have to go somewhere else to get their meds, because there is a pharmacy inside. The clinic also comes at a good time.

Nelson said the HIV numbers in Bexar County are alarming. 63 percent of the people who are living with HIV in Bexar County are Latino, and 85 percent are men.

"The numbers are not good," she said. 

Last year, there were 360 new HIV diagnoses in the county. She among others are concerned about cluster cases in the area.

"It is a range," she said. "Some clusters have 10 people, and some might be around 20 or 37. The largest one is around 50."

Nelson said HIV is affecting more Latino men.

"Many of the organizations are making a push to try to look at where those high rapid transmissions are occurring, and test people, or just get out the word they just need to get into care," she said. 

It is not only testing, the foundation even feeds patients 365 days a year. The 6,500 sq. ft. outpatient clinic is located at 818 E. Grayson St.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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