Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Are you a Damien Center client? Help us out!

Damien Center clients, we need your help. We're getting ready to overhaul our website and communications, and we want to get your feedback before we hit the ground running. What information do you look for on our website? Is it easy to navigate? What's missing?

Our survey is quick and painless, but it will help us build a website that provides what you're looking for in the easiest way possible.

Who qualifies as a Damien Center client? If you're accessing (or have accessed in the past) any of our services, that's you! We hope you'll take a few minutes to help us help you by giving your thoughts and feedback.

Take our client survey now!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A day at The Damien Center

Picture a day with us. Our lobby is packed. Both client computers are in use for job searches. A young woman is requesting an emergency appointment with housing, since her job ended unexpectedly. A gentleman has re-entered care and our staff is walking him through available services.

A woman has visited the food pantry and now waits for her appointment in the medical clinic. One patient is learning about health insurance options while the partner of an individual living with HIV is learning about preventive medications. The testing center is busy, helping clients learn their status and explore different prevention methods.

Then, an HIV+ patient, Michelle*, steps out of her care specialist's office, a mix of relief and pride on her face. In 2013, she re-entered care after having dropped out of care years before. Her viral load was dangerously high - over one million. Don't know much about HIV viral loads? The number represents the amount of HIV in the body, and Michelle was in risky territory.

Our intense personalized plan to support Michelle included daily phone calls to be sure she stuck to her strict medical regimen and weekly home visits. We walked alongside her, helping her eliminate the barriers to care that she was contending with.

That's how our approach works - every patient works with our staff to develop an individualized care plan that provides the specific support they need to get their health back on track. The end goal? To empower patients to get in care and stay in care.

It's been six months, and Michelle has just learned that she has achieved an undetectable viral load. The most amazing thing about Michelle's story? It's not unusual for our patients. The most effective way to prevent new HIV infections is to identify every individual living with HIV and provide them with the support they need to achieve undetectable viral loads. Our staff has helped Linkage to Care patients achieve an average viral load reduction of 93% within their first year in the program precisely through stories just like this one.

Our comprehensive approach changes lives, and remarkable outcomes like this are our norm. On our website, you can explore more about what we do to empower our patients as well as help us restore health to our patients and eliminate the threat of HIV for future generations. Help us make more incredible stories like Michelle's possible in 2015!

*Client's name has been changed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Support Hoosiers living with HIV this weekend

This time of year, we're busy. Our 27th Annual Grande Masquerade is just around the corner on October 18, the United Way of Central Indiana is at full throttle with their wonderful fall giving campaign, fairs and festivals abound on weekends, and we're busier than ever supporting those living with HIV in our community with Care Coordination, counseling, housing support, and more.

But right now is precisely when we need to slow down and remember why we're doing what we're doing. Who are we serving, what is the difference that we're making? The Annual Indiana AIDS Walk is one of our favorite weekends of the year because it reminds us of the answers to these questions.

The Indiana AIDS Fund, a program of The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, raises money through the annual Indiana AIDS Walk for the Gregory R. Powers Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (DEFA) Fund. AIDS service organizations (like us) and other grantees of the Indiana AIDS Fund use DEFA funds to provide emergency financial assistance and direct care for Hoosiers affected by HIV/AIDS. DEFA helps pay for utility payments, rent and other housing costs, medical expenses, prescription drug costs, transportation expenses, and food, clothing and other basic needs.

The coolest thing about it? More than 1,000 people walk in the Indiana AIDS Walk every year, and last year, the event raised more than $235,000. Families, groups of friends, businesses, civic leaders, youth, fraternities, sororities, churches, educators, volunteers, corporations, children, pets, concerned citizens, clubs, and associations – anyone interested in helping Hoosiers with HIV in emergency situations can participate and make a difference.

You can join the walk as an individual, join an existing team (like ours, Team Damien), or make a financial contribution to the walk. Here are the important details:

2014 Indiana AIDS Walk
Saturday, September 27
Herron Morton Place Neighborhood
(At the corner of 22nd and Talbott Streets)
4 – 6 p.m., registration opens at 3:30 p.m.
The Walk steps off at 5 p.m.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

We're having an open house, and we want you to join us!

When The Damien Center purchased our historic building at 26 N. Arsenal Ave. a few years ago, an exciting new chapter began in the life of this building. This year, the former school turns 100, and we're celebrating with an open house! 

On Thursday, September 4 (that's two weeks from today), we invite you join us for a casual, come-one-come-all open house at our home just East of downtown at Washington St. and Arsenal Ave. Tour The Damien Center, meet our hard-working staff members, spin the prize wheel to win some Damien Center swag, and say "Happy Birthday" to our historic headquarters.

See some of the new things happening around the Center as well as learn more about our established programs. As we work toward lowering our patients' HIV viral loads and in turn improving the health of our community, we innovate, always working to find the most effective ways to meet the needs of HIV+ individuals in Central Indiana. We hope you'll stop by our open house to learn more about HIV and AIDS, what we do, who we are, and what our work means for our community. 

Here are the key details: 

What: Damien Center Open House
When: Thursday, September 4, 5:30-7:30pm
Where: The Damien Center, 26 N. Arsenal Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Who: You and anyone you'd like to bring along!

Let us know you're coming by visiting our Facebook page, or just drop by on September 4!

Friday, July 18, 2014

News roundup: HIV/AIDS in the headlines

It's been a busy couple of months for the HIV/AIDS community. We've been heartbroken to learn that fellow AIDS activists and researchers lost their lives on a Malaysia Airlines flight to the International AIDS Conference in Australia, and that a toddler thought to be cured of HIV showed signs of infection once again. We've listened keenly as national and global health leaders issued recommendations that more people in high-risk groups should be taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent the spread of HIV. We've celebrated as new advancements were made in the fight against HIV, and we've evaluated and reevaluated our own practices in light of new research findings.

Check out the links below to read these news stories and more, and please remember that by sharing these links, we are in no way making endorsements. Happy reading!

Malaysia Plane Crash Victims Included About 100 AIDS Conference Attendees, Report Suggests
HuffingtonPost.com - July 17, 2014

Mississippi Child Thought Cured Of HIV Shows Signs Of Infection
NPR.org - July 10, 2014

World Heath Org advises taking PrEP drug to prevent HIV infection
LGBTQNation.com - July 12, 2014

CDC Launches New Campaign - Start Talking. Stop HIV. - for Gay and Bisexual Men
Blog.AIDS.gov - May 21, 2014

Apps for gay, bisexual men tied to STI risk
Reuters.com - June 12, 2014

Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift to Prevent AIDS
NYTimes.com - May 14, 2014

CDC Launches New Campaign – Start Talking. Stop HIV. – For Gay and Bisexual Men - See more at: http://blog.aids.gov/2014/05/cdc-launches-new-campaign-start-talking-stop-hiv-for-gay-and-bisexual-men.html#sthash.ThOmNQQS.dpuf
CDC Launches New Campaign – Start Talking. Stop HIV. – For Gay and Bisexual Men - See more at: http://blog.aids.gov/2014/05/cdc-launches-new-campaign-start-talking-stop-hiv-for-gay-and-bisexual-men.html#sthash.ThOmNQQS.dpuf
CDC Launches New Campaign – Start Talking. Stop HIV. – For Gay and Bisexual Men - See more at: http://blog.aids.gov/2014/05/cdc-launches-new-campaign-start-talking-stop-hiv-for-gay-and-bisexual-men.html#sthash.ThOmNQQS.dpuf
CDC Launches New Campaign – Start Talking. Stop HIV. – For Gay and Bisexual Men - See more at: http://blog.aids.gov/2014/05/cdc-launches-new-campaign-start-talking-stop-hiv-for-gay-and-bisexual-men.html#sthash.ThOmNQQS.dpuf

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Circle City IN Pride Week starts Saturday!

This Saturday, the 26th Annual Circle City IN Pride celebration kicks off with the Rainbow 5K Run/Walk - but that's only just the beginning! The whole week is packed with events, activities, and more throughout the entire for everyone (even your pets!), all leading up to the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade and Circle City IN Pride Festival.

Come join us on Saturday, June 14, for these two wonderful Pride events! We'll be there starting in the morning with a unit in the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade, then we'll be setting up shop in the health fair in the main festival. Stop by our booth, which is number 235 by the main stage, to spin our prize wheel and chat with Damien Center staff and volunteers! Spend the day at the festival enjoying vendors, food, entertainment, and what's sure to be an outstanding festival once again.

Circle City IN Pride Festival
Saturday, June 14
American Legion Mall, Downtown Indianapolis
All Ages
Parade at 10am; Festival gates at 10am

Visit circlecityinpride.org for all the details!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dine out for life on Thursday!

Do you like to eat dinner? How about breakfast or lunch? Yeah, we thought so. If you like to eat food, tomorrow is a GREAT day for you to support The Damien Center. It's Dining Out for Life! It's reaaaaalllyyy easy to give back to The Damien Center, because all you have to do is go out to eat at a participating restaurant! On top of that, 45 area restaurants are participating, and they stretch from Zionsville to Greenwood and everywhere in between.

So, how does it work? Participating restaurants will donate 25-100% of your bill to support The Damien Center and hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS right here in our community. Supporting the fight against AIDS is as easy as grabbing a bite to eatyou don't have to mention the event, bring a flyer, or do anything else except buy a meal. At diningoutforlife.com/indianapolis, you can search by cuisine, location, donation amount and more to find the perfect Dining Out for Life restaurant for you. We've tried to make it as easy as possible for you to help fight AIDS in our community. Please help us make sure that no one faces AIDS alone by Dining Out for Life!

The generosity of our restaurant participants coupled with your additional donation will make a very real difference in the lives of thousands of men, women, and children throughout the region living with HIV and AIDS. Please join us for Indy's 20th Annual Dining Out for Life on Thursday, April 24, 2014!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Introducing, our wonderful sponsors!

We have to admit, Dining Out for Life is one of the most fun times of the year for us. We get to see an incredible coming together of volunteers, our own staff members, people who like going out to eat, our supporters in the community, and, of course, dozens of local businesses. On top of our 45 participating restaurants, we're incredibly lucky to count many wonderful local partners among our Dining Out for Life sponsors. Their support helps us maximize funds raised for this event, meaning that, you guessed it, more money raised goes straight to the local fight against HIV.

Without further adieu, we present our 2014 Dining Out for Life sponsors! These and our restaurants are the businesses you want to support throughout the year, the ones who are truly giving back to our community through this event and others. Cheers!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Drumroll please ... Announcing Dining Out for Life 2014 restaurants!

Where will YOU be dining out on April 24? Each of every one of the incredible restaurants below will be giving 25, 50, or 100% of your bill to The Damien Center and the local fight against HIV/AIDS, so pick a place, or two or three places, and get ready to EAT! It's as easy as it gets - no special menus, no flyers to present. All you have to do is eat, drink, and have a great time to help make our community healthier through what we do at The Damien Center. Read on for some great eats. Questions? Visit diningoutforlife.com/indianapolis for more info.

2014 Participating Restaurants

Champion Restaurants (Giving 100%)

135 N. Pennsylvania St., 2nd Floor | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 672-7591 | Breakfast, Lunch

1043 Virginia Ave. #6 | Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 822-4764 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Premier Restaurants (Giving 50%)

110 E. Washington St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 822-9990 | Lunch, Dinner

822 N. Illinois St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 636-5597 | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

765 Massachusetts Ave | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 634-4545 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

906 S. Meridian St. | Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 636-0700 | Lunch, Dinner

707 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 639-6022 | Dinner, Late Night

1 N. Pennsylvania St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 829-PITA (7482) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

2442 N. Central Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 441-1047 | Lunch, Dinner

137 E. Ohio St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 426-5280 | Lunch, Dinner

1417 Prospect St. | Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 917-1117 | Lunch, Dinner

755 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 634-4545 | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Partner restaurants (Giving 25%)

Arni's Restaurant Indianapolis
4705 E. 96th St. | Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 571-0077 | Lunch, Dinner

Arni's Restaurant Greenwood
1691 W. Curry Rd. | Greenwood, IN 46143
(317) 881-0500 | Lunch, Dinner

Athens on 86th
2284 W. 86th St. | Indianapolis, IN 46260
(317) 879-8644 | Lunch, Dinner

Beefcake Burgers
1642 Olive Branch Parke Ln. | Greenwood, IN 46143
(317) 215-4192 | Lunch, Dinner

BRU Burger Bar
410 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 635-4278 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Café Patachou
8697 River Crossing Blvd. | Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 815-0765 | Breakfast, Lunch

Café Patachou
4901 N. Pennsylvania St. | Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 925-2823 | Breakfast, Lunch

Café Patachou
225 W. Washington St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 632-0765 | Breakfast, Lunch

Canal Bistro
6349 Guilford Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 254-8700 | Lunch, Dinner

339 S. Delaware St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 870-1320 | Lunch, Dinner

Chef Joseph's at the Connoisseur Room
115 E. Ohio St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 600-3577 | Lunch, Dinner

The Columbia Club
121 Monument Circle | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 767-1361 | Lunch, Dinner

End of the Line Public House
1105 Shelby St. | Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 687-4857 | Lunch, Dinner

English Ivy's
944 N. Alabama St. | Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 822-5070 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Greek's Pizzeria Zionsville
30 N. Main St. | Zionsville, IN 46077
(317) 344-2999 | Lunch, Dinner

Hellas Café
8501 Westfield Blvd. | Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 257-6211 | Lunch, Dinner

Just Pop In!
6302 Guilford Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 257-9338 | Dessert

La Margarita Fountain Square
1043 Virginia Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 384-1457 | Lunch, Dinner

Late Harvest Kitchen
8605 River Crossing Blvd. | Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 663-8063 | Dinner

The Legend Classic Irvington Café
5614 E. Washington St. | Indianapolis, IN 46219
(317) 536-2028 | Lunch, Dinner

Mama Irma's Restaurant
1058 Virginia Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 423-2421 | Lunch, Dinner

Marco's Restaurant & Lounge
2380 E. 54th St. | Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 251-7000 | Lunch, Dinner

Mass Avenue Pub
745 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 974-0745 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Mesh on Mass
725 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 955-9600 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Monon Coffee Company in Broad Ripple
920 E. Westfield Blvd. | Indianapolis, IN 46220
(317) 255-0510 | Breakfast

Monon Coffee Company Downtown
2442 N. Central Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 255-0510 | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

R bistro
888 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 423-0312 | Lunch, Dinner

Ralph's Great Divide
743 E. New York St. | Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 637-2192 | Lunch, Dinner

Recess and Room Four
4907 N. College Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46250
(317) 925-7529| Dinner

Siam Square
936 Virginia Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 636-8424 | Lunch, Dinner

717 Massachusetts Ave. | Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 384-1313 | Dinner, Late Night

Winner's Circle Pub, Grill & OTB
20 N. Pennsylvania St. | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 656-7223 | Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Yiayia's House of Pancakes
1694 W. Main St. | Greenwood, IN 46224
(317) 888-6800 | Breakfast, Lunch

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Damienpalooza: Art + Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

According to CDC estimates, roughly 280,000 (or one in four) people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States are women, 15% of whom don’t know they’re infected. Damienpalooza 2014 will bring education and art under one roof as The Damien Center and collaborating artists focus the conversation on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day through music, dance, theater, real-life testimonials, and more.
On March 8 - that's this Saturday! - we invite you to join us as we take in performances by dance company Create Freedom Arts Projects, local band I Dream in Evergreen, actress Ali Curtis of The Theatre Within, singer/songwriter Jamie Nichole, and spoken word artist Charlene White as well as the powerful story of Stephanie Brown from the Alicia Keys Empowered campaign. Stephanie contracted HIV as a young woman and has dedicated herself to fighting HIV and the stigma it carries. Inspired by art and moved by the stories of real women affected by HIV, we hope you'll leave empowered to take a stand for women and girls and informed about what they can do to fight HIV and its stigma in our community. 

The historic Athenaeum Theatre in Indianapolis will play host to Damienpalooza 2014, and the $5 admission fee as well as cash bar proceeds will benefit The Damien Center. Spirits Sponsor Ketel One supports The Damien Center throughout the year. We hope to see you there!  

Event                  Damienpalooza
Date/Time          March 8, 2014 at 7:30pm
Cost                    $5 (at the door)
Location             The Athenaeum Theatre, 401 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis 46204
Details                damien.org/damienpalooza