Positive Living Fraser Valley Society (PLFV) celebrated its 10-year anniversary at its annual general meeting on Sept. 21 with keynote speaker MLA Darryl Plecas.
Executive director Kari Hackett said that although HIV/AIDS deaths are decreasing due to advanced antiretroviral therapy, the organization still sees newly diagnosed cases each year.
PLFV is the only AIDS service organization in the Fraser Health region, and its mandate is to also provide support to those at risk or suffering from viral hepatitis, especially hepatitis C.
“The Fraser East region has the highest rate of hepatitis C in the province and, coupled with homeless and addictions challenges, the demand for our services increased over 600 per cent in the past two years,” Hackett said.
PLFV provides services from Langley to Boston Bar, with its main offices located in Abbotsford at 108A 32883 South Fraser Way.
PLFV offers two drop-in centres at this location – one for HIV/Hep C positive members and another for those whose status is unknown but who are at extreme risk due to addictions and/or homelessness.
The centre is known as PARC (Prevention Assessment Referral Centre) and provides a bag lunch daily; a place to rest, get support and information; overdose prevention (Naloxone training and kits); and access to the nurse practitioner who provides care four days a week.
“Often this is the only food they get in a day and the only source of medical care other than ER,” Hackett said.
For more information, call 604-854-1101. Donations are always welcome and can be mailed to PLFV, Box 2183 Stn. A., Abbotsford, V2T 3X8.
“We just recently had to move to a bigger space and do a costly renovation to accommodate the increase in clients, and we would appreciate tax-deductible donations of any size to help us cover that cost and complete the renovation,” Hackett said.