AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta University has a new place for patients battling HIV and AIDS. The doors are now open on the Moore building.
Dr. Jose Vazquez, who’s the Division Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Medical College of Georgia, says “This is a fantastic day. It’s a day for celebration.”
In the CSRA, more than 2,000 people are fighting the HIV battle and now, a one-stop resource to help them fight the disease and the stigma surrounding it.
“It’s a decade in the making and I’m excited to have the building that is for comprehensive care,” says Dr. Jose Vazquez.
Chief of the Infectious diseases, Dr. Jose Vazquez, says the building will provide patients a one stop shop for receiving care.
“Not only the diseases but also the psychological, sociological with our case managers and social workers and psychiatrist and hopefully in the future we’re going to have dental,” says Dr. Jose Vazquez.
Doctor J.Peter Rissing, has dedicated his career to investigating the rise of HIV and AIDS in the Augusta community. He is familiar with the struggle of patients and their families.
“About two-thirds to three-quarters of the anti-retrovirus were tested in this clinic so, we’ve had a very big stake in this disease and its management and the integration. I mean, we were one of the first clinics in the country to bring psych and dental into the clinic,” says Dr. J. Peter Rissing, Principal Investigator of Augusta University’s Ryan White Program.
Augusta University’s President Dr. Brooks Keel is hoping to bring the university’s Undergraduate students interested in research to see the Moore building to help the program continue to grow.
“Anything that we do as a health system, we want to always keep in mind the education mission that we have so this will be a wonderful opportunity for our students. Not just medical students but allied health and nursing students,” says President Brooks Keel.
One of the main missions of the clinic will hopefully help to erase the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS with the LGBTQ (IA+) community.