The number of new clients to our support service has increased steadily.
The number of new clients to our support service has increased steadily throughout the west/northwest region in the past number of years and has risen from 15 in 2003 to 140 in 2011. Clients may present themselves with multiple issues around testing, stigma, confidentiality, financial difficulties, stress and direct provision. Reported cases in Ireland are on the rise and like the Irish trend we are seeing continued growth in numbers within the asylum and heterosexual communities who are seeking our services.
While the majority of our clients are from the Galway region, the growth in other areas is increasing year on year. The Infectious Disease Clinic at University College Hospital, Galway supports the region from Donegal to Clare and this is the main referral point for clients to AIDS West. Hence the client base we cover has by necessity extended beyond Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
Our care and support co-ordinator is available to meet with anyone in relation to all aspects of HIV/STIs and Hepatitis. We offer free one-to-one client support to include pre-and post-test counselling. Support services are available on Thursday morning at the University College Hospital Galway.
We also operate a drop clinic at the Family Centre Castlebar on the first Tuesday of every month.
Appointments can be arranged by calling 091 566266.
We offer telephone and email support to those who are unable to meet with our care and support co-ordinator.
Our co-ordinator liaises with other service providers on behalf of our clients. Referrals are also made where necessary.
Complementary Therapies and Peer Support
We have our own therapy room in Ozanam House with a qualified therapist for service users who wish to avail of complementary therapies. These include: Indian head massage, full body massage, Reiki and Acupuncture.
Service users can also have added support by meeting up with the peer group or avail of the befriending/buddy support that is now established. Regular seminars are held with professional speakers on such topics as treatments, nutrition, personal development or legal issues around HIV.
Our co-ordinator has an outreach clinic in Castlebar on the first Tuesday of every month in the Family Care Centre, Chapel St, Castlebar, Co.Mayo.