HOPE Center using $600K grant to lower HIV/AIDS transmission rate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the $600,000 grant.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Mercer University School of Medicine and the North Central Health District are using a federal grant to make sure people with AIDS/HIV received treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the $600,000 grant. According to a news release from Mercer University, the funds will go toward a program at the COMPASS Cares’ HOPE Center, a comprehensive, Ryan White-supported health clinic in Macon. The program calls for providing rapid anti-retroviral therapy and care to someone newly diagnosed with AIDS/HIV.

With Georgia’s high HIV transmission rate, the goal is to shorten the time between diagnosis and viral suppression and lower the risk of transmission sooner.

“We’re excited to continue to work with our partners at Mercer University School of Medicine to provide increased access to the health services our community needs,” said HOPE Center Director Dale R. Wrigley. “HOPE Center’s goal has always been to improve the health and well-being of everyone we serve, and these early intervention initiatives will give us more tools to work toward that goal.”

The HOPE Center is one of 10 sites nationally selected for this award. The center is located at 180 Emery Highway in Macon. It provides much needed transportation and primary care to people with AIDS in rural counties.

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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.