The UNM HIV/AIDS clinic will soon be able to offer more services to more patients after its relocation and expansion.
The clinic, Truman Street Health Services, will relocate in July.
According to a press release, the clinic will move from 625 Truman N.E. to 801 Encino Place N.E. The clinic will be renamed UNM Truman Health Services after the relocation.
The clinic specializes in treating uninsured and underinsured patients with HIV/AIDS.
HIV Program Manager Jamie Finkelstein said the new location is about 8,500 square feet, almost double the size of the clinic on Truman Street. He said the new space will allow for the clinic to serve more patients and provide more comprehensive care.
“We’ll be able to expand our services to include things like nutrition services, a pharmacy, and add more mental health and substance-abuse services, as well as additional HIV testing and screening,” he said.
The Albuquerque Journal reported the new clinic will include more staff and doctor’s offices, as well as nine additional exam rooms.
According to the Journal, rent for the new space will cost about $165,000 annually. The old building was 4,500 square feet and cost about $65,000.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that 2,252 people had been diagnosed with HIV in New Mexico by the end of 2008.
Finkelstein said he moved to Albuquerque last year from Florida, where he worked as a HIV/AIDS patient-care advocate for seven years, and has noted some specific challenges in New Mexico.
“The huge stigma of HIV here and the reluctance of both the general public as well as health care providers to do HIV testing is a challenge,” he said. “There is a huge estimated number of people living with HIV that are not in care and don’t even know they’re HIV positive, here in New Mexico.”
Finkelstein said the clinic has estimated that about 402 people in the Albuquerque area are unaware they are HIV-positive, and an additional 593 people are aware that they carry HIV but are not receiving medical attention.
Finkelstein said most of the patients at the clinic are have low income. He said it is important to provide them with access to one location that provides health care services for all areas of concern, including nutrition services and mental health services.
He said the services the clinic provides are supported through state and federal government funding.
“I believe in being able to provide everything that’s needed,” he said. “A lot of the people that we serve are low income, so they may not necessarily have the resources to get other services in the community, so we can hopefully provide and meet all of their needs.”