December 2022
Sexual Health
Hedda Fay

Northland Cares Year in Review

Hello friends, it’s been an incredible year here at Northland Cares, and I have a lot to report! First, thank you to all who have shown your support for us here at our Prescott, Cottonwood and our Outreach and Education Offices. We could not do the work we do without all of you.

This year Northland Cares opened its first Outreach and Education Office, in The Crossings on Willow Creek Rd. This is where we provide our TelePrEP services, and we’re now serving over 1,000 patients and clients with PrEP care. What is PrEP, you ask? Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is a medication people can take daily to avoid becoming HIV-positive. When taken as prescribed it is 99.7% effective at preventing HIV transmission.

Our Outreach and Education staff also provide our One-Step PEP, weekend and holiday on-call PEP services to the community. PEP stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, medication that if taken after direct exposure to HIV can prevent infection.

We developed this program because in 2019 Yavapai County experienced a 275% increase in new HIV cases. We have staff available on weekends and holidays to respond to PEP emergencies within the community, when you or someone you know experiences an accidental needle stick, a condom break, is the victim of sexual assault by someone of unknown status or wakes up foggy headed because someone spiked food or beverage. This medication will prevent you from becoming HIV-positive.

HIV can survive in a discarded syringe for 42 days. We only have 72 hours to get this medication into your system to stop transmission. Call us on weekends or holidays at 928-910-6707, Monday through Friday at 928-776-4612 Prescott | 928-649-0833 Cottonwood | 928-771-0023 Outreach and Education.

We are getting a mobile testing and vaccine unit! That’s right folks, we will be mobile and on the road in 2023. This will allow us to serve our neighbors and community members from Bagdad to Black Canyon City, from Congress to Sedona, Seligman to Peach Springs and everything in between. We will be on the road offering Rapid-Free HIV and Hepatitis C testing as well as Covid vaccines to the community. These services are free to residents and community members.

Our Prescott office is in the process of expanding to provide more services, including phlebotomy and mental-health counseling services. In Cottonwood we moved just across the walkway into a larger space, where we’ll be adding services in the coming year. We hope to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new location in January.

If you’d like to know how you can partner with Northland Cares — we need volunteers! — you can check out our website and sign up to volunteer at one of our testing or outreach events, or help us make our Bits Kits, providing protection for one’s nether bits.

We will be rolling out some new educational cartoons on sexually transmitted infections, prevention, and stopping the stigma associated with pathogens. If you have not already liked and followed us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, we hope you’ll do that now. We’ll be using our social media for more community connection and engagement in 2023. You’ll be able to track our mobile unit across Yavapai County and see where we are. We partner with Sonoran Prevention Works to provide a one-stop shop for prevention and harm reduction, so there will be times we can provide, Naloxone, Narcan, safe syringes, drug-testing kits, hygiene and first-aid kits. Make sure to like and follow us!

Northland Cares is a 501c3 nonprofit, and we don’t have a big company or hospital overseeing us, we’re just a small, rural clinic providing these services to our community. You can donate and get a direct dollar-for-dollar deduction from your state income-tax burden, up to $800 for a married couple filing jointly or $400 for singles or separate filers. To qualify you’ll have to complete Arizona Department of Revenue Form 321, and total your nonrefundable income-tax credits on form 301. Don’t forget to include all applicable forms with your tax return.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our board of directors, our community partner agencies, our amazing clients, volunteers and of course our generous donors. We could not do the work we do without your support! We want to welcome you to come in for a rapid HIV and Hep C test. We hope to see you at our office or an event soon! Here’s to 2023!

This is Hedda Fay reminding you that you’re a mammal and that STIs are equal-opportunists that do not discriminate! Use protection or prevention when navigating sex!

Hedda Fay, the Community Outreach and Program Manager of Northland Cares, answers your questions about sex and sexual health.