Our Press kit contains information about WNCAP for reporters, editors and interested community members.
- WNCAP was established in 1986, marking 25 years of service to the WNC community in 2011.
- WNCAP provides Case Management services to over 400 individuals annually, in 18 Counties of Western North Carolina. Case Management refers to the coordination of services and supports for clients – medical care, substance abuse services, transportation, housing and/or financial assistance, for example.
- WNCAP reaches thousands of residents through its’ Prevention and Education programs on an annual basis. Prevention programming includes one-on-one outreach to high-risk individuals, group-level interventions for vulnerable populations, and community-wide events such as the AIDS Walk and National HIV Testing Day. Group level-interventions can include anything from classes for youth in school or community settings to presentations in places like substance abuse treatment centers, domestic abuse shelters, or prisons. Last year the two prevention educators made around 75 basic “HIV 101” presentations to groups in the region.
- One of the most successful group-level interventions is the Sisters Informing Sisters on Topics about AIDS (SISTA) program. SISTA was developed by African American women for African American women and is promoted by the CDC as one of the best-available behavioral interventions for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. More than 200 women in the Asheville area have completed the program since it was implemented here in 2005.
- HIV/AIDS issues in the United States have been less in the public eye due to advances in medical care. However , approximately 56,000 new infections occur in the US each year. Life on HIV meds is compromised, requiring many additional supports.
- WNCAP has collaborative relationships with Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) and Asheville Infectious Disease Consultants (AIDC), the two practices providing specialty HIV medical care in WNC. We also partner with Health Departments and community-based organizations throughout the region.
- In addition to Jeff Bachar, the Executive Director, there are 6 Case Managers and a Client Services Supervisor on staff, two Health Educators, a part-time Volunteer Coordinator, part-time Development Director, part-time Advocacy Coordinator and Office Manager. There are approximately 300 volunteers working for the agency in 18 counties of Western North Carolina.
- Our advocacy priorities include ensuring that individuals living with HIV/AIDS have early and uninterrupted access to HIV medications and care; decreasing HIV-stigma; promoting effective implementation of the NC Healthy Youth Act; and supporting evidence based harm reduction strategies.
- WNCAP’s central office in Asheville includes a client lounge and laundry facilities as well as a computer designated for client use. We maintain satellite offices in Hendersonville, Sylva and Shelby where individuals living in more rural parts of the region can meet with an HIV Case Manager.
- Dining Out For Life – one of two major WNCAP special events – is always held the 4th Thursday of April . Volunteer Ambassadors host at each of about 100 participating restaurants the day of the event, both to help fill the restaurant with friends and family and also to share information about WNCAP with anyone who eats out that day.
- The second major special event – the Raise Your Hand dinner and auction – is typically held in the Fall. The emphasis of the auction is art and travel.
- The best estimate we have of the number of people living with HIV in Western North Carolina is around 1,250. That includes almost 1,000 documented cases of HIV/AIDS plus 250 others who are presumed to be living with HIV but don’t know it, based on CDC estimation techniques.