Northland Cares has been able to acquire a new mobile clinic to better provide its testing and prevention services where people need them. Dubbed Prevention, Education, Testing and Engagement for Yavapai County, or PETEY, the clinic will be visiting parks, churches and events all over the county.
The trained staff of Northland Cares will be using the mobile unit to provide rapid HIV tests and medications to help with accidental exposure. It features two patient chairs in a private, sanitary space for testing and treatment. The organization’s additional services include outpatient medical care, housing and utility assistance, peer support groups, testing for Hep B, Hep C, and STIs, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care and services, and access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) care and services.
Northland Cares Executive Director Johnny Martinez says, “My biggest goals and vision for PETEY are to shed more light on Northland Cares and the fact that these viruses, these diseases, are something that affect our community here in Yavapai County. I think it will help, not only by having our people out there, but also the bright signs so you know it’s something that feels welcoming.”
Northland Cares has offered its services at festivals and outdoor events in the past, but with the new mobile unit, Martinez says, “If there’s a road, we can go!” “We like to say that this will help people navigate the world of HIV, STIs, Hep C, etc., because we have something now that will help us get all the way up to Seligman and all the way down to Black Canyon City. This is going to allow us to reach out to more people.”
PETEY is expected to debut at the SonShine festival in Payson in October.
Northland Cares is always looking for some help – please visit the website to make a donation, write a testimonial, offer some volunteer time, anything you can do to help keep this necessary service moving forward. As long as these viruses are around, Northland Cares wants to help kick them to the curb. As Martinez says, “We’re in the business of trying to be out of business. We’d like to get to the point where we’re not needed anymore.”
Check the Northland Cares website (northlandcares.org) for PETEY’s calendar, office locations, and how to reach on-call staff.