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A History of Oregon HIV Resources

By George T. Nicola
With input from Benjamin Gerritz
Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
Last updated November 14, 2014

HIV/AIDS is an issue for all identities, but the epidemic in Oregon has disproportionately impacted gay/bisexual men and transgender individuals. The epidemic would have been much worse were it not for the many people and organizations that sought to assist those infected with and affected by HIV, as well prevent the spread of the virus. In this article, we recognize some of those organizations past and current.

This article was not written by medical professionals and is not intended to provide medical advice. It is based on the best research we could do, but our interpretation might not always be precise. If you are looking for services from any of these groups that are still functioning, please contact them and see exactly what they are offering at that time.

If you have feedback on this, please contact GLAPN at info@glapn.org.  

Cascade AIDS Project (CAP)
Based in Portland

Web site: http://cascadeaids.org/
Mission: “To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people living with or affected by HIV, and eliminate HIV-related stigma and health disparities.”
Contact: 503-223-5907
History link: http://www.caparchives.org/home/
Evolution: “Before 1983, two main organizations provided HIV-related services to the Portland area community: CHESS (Community Health and Essential Support Services), who provided one-on-one emotional support, and Cascade AIDS Project (CAP), who provided education to gay/bisexual men. Their merger in 1983 consolidated HIV-related services and prevented competition for very limited resources.” (http://www.caparchives.org/timeline/)
Oregon HIV/STD Hotline link: http://oregonaidshotline.com/
Subgroup:

  • Pivot: “Pivot is a community space dedicated to the health and wellness of all gay/bi men and trans* people with a focus on sexual health and HIV.” (http://cascadeaids.org/pivot)

Recognitions: CAP was a winner of the Queer Heroes NW Award in 2013: http://glapn.org/6354CAP2013.html 

HIV Alliance
Based in Eugene

Web site: http://www.hivalliance.org/
Mission: “Supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS and preventing new HIV infections.”
Contact: See http://www.hivalliance.org/our-team/current-staff.
History: http://www.hivalliance.org/mission/history
Evolution: See the many predecessors that eventually merged into what is now HIV Alliance at http://www.hivalliance.org/mission/history.
Eligibility requirements for becoming a client for Care Coordination and RN Case Management based on medical needs: People living with HIV/AIDS in Lane, Clatsop, Coos, Curry, Marion, Josephine, Jackson, Douglas, Lincoln, or Klamath Counties.
Recognitions: HIV Alliance was the winner of the Queer Heroes NW Award in 2014: http://glapn.org/6465HIVAlliance.html 

Our House of Portland
Based in Portland

Web site: http://www.ourhouseofportland.org/
About Our House: “Our House provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS.”
Contact: info@ourhouseofportland.org
History: http://www.ourhouseofportland.org/about/history/
Evolution: “Juniper House was the first version of Our House. It started in the fall of 1988, when a small group of concerned Portlanders began working to provide housing and care needs of people with AIDS. They read an article in The Oregonian about a homeless man with AIDS who died on the streets and they decided something needed to be done. They soon formed a nonprofit corporation and opened Our House, a five bed foster care facility. The monthly fund-raising goal was $1,500.” (http://www.ourhouseofportland.org/about/history/)

Valley AIDS Network
Based in Corvallis
Web site: http://www.valleyaidsinfo.org/
Contact: 541-752-6322

Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living
Based in Ontario (Oregon)

Web site: http://www.eocil.org/
Contact: eocil@eocil.org
General information: This group’s clientele are not HIV specific, but the organization has been very helpful to those people. Some details from its web site: “Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL), a center for independent living, is a cross-disability nonprofit community-based resource and advocacy center that promotes independent living and equal access for all persons with disabilities. Based in Ontario, Oregon, with additional offices in Pendleton and The Dalles, it serves consumers in 13 central and eastern Oregon counties: Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler.”

Douglas County AIDS Council
Based in Roseburg (no longer active)

General information: Douglas County AIDS Council (DCAC) evolved from the Roseburg AIDS Task Force in 1986. For 10 years, it operated a level III foster care facility known as Ruby House for people with HIV disease. People living with HIV/AIDS responded well to the powerful combination of drugs that were introduced in the late 1990s. Over time, HIV/AIDS evolved from a terminal to a chronic condition so Ruby House no longer met the needs of the community. In 1998, DCAC traded the home to Mercy Medical Center (now called Jacquetta Taylor House) for a storefront office in downtown Roseburg. The storefront housed HIV Resource Center. Because of lack of prevention funding for rural areas, DCAC was dissolved in December 2011. The office was turned over to Eugene based HIV Alliance. (From an email that Billy Russo, founder of Ruby House and Executive Director of the HIV Resource Center, sent me)
Recognitions: Billy Russo was the recipient of the Community Health Partnership 2004 Genius Award. (http://www.zoominfo.com/s/#!search/profile/person?personId=12612356&targetid=profile)

Umatilla Morrow Alternatives (UMA)
Based in Hermiston but I cannot confirm it is functioning as an HIV resource when this article was last updated.

History: Using a Google search, I found this web page: http://referweb.net/info/Detail.aspx?c;;0;;N;0;377148;2171409;10509;1;*Homeless%20Services;
Medical;985;HIV%20Testing;True
. That page belongs to a group called 211. It states that Umatilla Morrow Alternatives (UMA) offers as services “HIV Testing” and “Needle Exchange/Distribution Programs”. The UMA link provided at the 211 page is http://www.umalt.com. When I attempt to go there, I get page http://umalt.com/?reqp=1&reqr which states “NOTICE: This domain name expired on 10/25/2014 and is pending renewal or deletion.” I have called the phone number provided on the 211 page -- (541) 626-9635. However, I have not been able to reach anybody there before this article was last updated. So I know that UMA has been very active in the past, but I don’t know its current status. If someone can provide an update, please contact GLAPN. 
Recognitions: Frank Roa was Director of UMA when he was given the Queer Heroes NW Award in 2012. (http://glapn.org/6303frankroa.html)
   

 

 

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