The Goal of the Project of Primary Health Care is to provide confidential, free or low-cost services to help people living with HIV move through the stages of HIV medical care from initial diagnosis to viral suppression. The Project also provides access to the most effective tools to prevent HIV infections from occurring. Under a single roof, for the first time ever in central Iowa, The Project offers quality medical and social services for people living with HIV and for individuals who are at risk for becoming infected with the virus. With the resources of a community health center that has more than 27 years of experience providing people living with HIV, the services provided lead to the best health outcomes for individuals and the community.
New biomedical tools are available, such as a once-a-day pill called PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), that reduces risk of HIV infection by 92%.
- Condoms and Supplies – Free safer-sex supplies; condoms, lubricants, dental dams, FC2(female condoms), as well as bleach kits.
- Sexual Health Information – Information about sexual health are available to the public (print or online). Training and education for schools or groups.
- CLEAR Prevention Counseling – CLEAR is an overall health and wellness program for anyone living with HIV or their partners. CLEAR focuses on achieving personal goals, improving communication, increasing emotional awareness, and practicing relaxation techniques.
- Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once a day medication for people at risk for contracting HIV. It reduces the risk of becoming infected when taken as directed. PrEP is about 92% effective when it comes to preventing HIV.
- Partnership for Health Intervention – Partnership for Health emphasizes the importance of the patient-provider relationship to promote a patient’s health. Key messages related to the importance of taking every dose every day and preventing transmission of HIV are reinforced by healthcare staff in this brief, effective strategy.
Testing & Diagnosis
Once in five people living with HIV are unaware that they have it. Late diagnosis interferes with goals of early treatment and prevention.
- Education – The Project of Primary Health Care offers a wide range of education from how HIV is transmitted to how to prevent HIV transmission. Along with education around STDs such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis, also providing education on PrEP, PEP and condom use.
- PrEP Screening – PrEP Screenings consist of a full screening of HIV and STDs along with a discussion to determine if PrEP is right for you. It is up to the provider’s discretion if you are prescribed PrEP.
- Free HIV Testing – Rapid HIV testing with results available in under 30 minutes.
- Free Syphilis Testing – This is done through a blood draw. Results in a little as 3 business days.
- Free Gonorrhea Testing – Screening is done either as a rectal swab, throat swab, or urine test. Results in a little as 3 business days.
- Free Chlamydia Screening – Screening is done either as a rectal swab, throat swab, or urine test. Results in a little as 3 business days.
- Risk Reduction Counseling – Included in your HIV/STI test, we provide prevention methods that best suit you.
Delayed care can result in a negative treatment prognosis and contribute to the spread of the disease.
- Patient Navigation – Nurses and case managers assist patients with navigating through the health-care system to overcome barriers in accessing quality care and treatment.
- Coordinated Intake – Coordinated intake is an interview process in which a nurse, mental health professional and case manager have the opportunity to gather information from the client about their individual needs. This results in a comprehensive plan that assists in guiding clients towards their goals and ultimately self-sufficiency.
- Benefits Counseling – Help clients assess insurance options and or other types of assistance available to them.
- Transportation Assistance – Bus tokens, gas cards, and cab vouchers are available to help clients access medical care and supportive services.
- Health Coverage Enrollment – Enroll clients in either ESI, IHWP or ADAP funded insurance plan.
- Insurance Premium Assistance – Determine if clients qualify for and if ESI plans accept 3rd party payors. Premium payments for ADAP funded plan if clients qualify.
Engagement in Care
People who receive ongoing treatment and services to support their continuous participation in medical care are able to suppress the HIV virus.
- Food Pantry – The Project of Primary Health Care offers a supplement food pantry that can be accessed once a week for program clients. Food Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The Food Pantry is closed on Tuesdays.
- Support Group – Our program provides the financial support for a weekly HIV support group. The support group meets from 5:00-6:00 PM each Wednesday evening at The Friends’ House, 4211 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. Mark Hillenbrand, LISW, facilitates the group. Call 515-277-0814 for more information.
- Support Services – Primary Health Care provide access to supportive services to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Supportive services provided by PHC include but not limited to: Non medical case management, emergency financial assistance, food pantry, housing services, health education, legal services, linguistic services, transportation assistance, substance abuse counseling and referral services with community agencies.
- Case Management – Case Management is a multi-purpose process to ensure timely access to and coordination of medical and psychosocial services. The goal of case management is to promote and support independence and self-sufficiency through a strengths based approach.
- Housing Assistance – Primary Health Care provides housing assistance through a program called Housing Opportunities For Persons With AIDS (HOPWA). This is a HUD funded program to assist qualifying clients with long term income based rental assistance, short term rent, mortgage, and utility assistance, and first month’s rent and deposit. PHC also provides Ryan White Housing Assistance, funded through the Iowa Department of Public Health, which assists clients with short term rent, mortgage, or utility needs.
- Mental Health Services – Patients have access to behavioral health services on-site from a licensed mental health professional.
- Prescription Drug Assistance – Patients/clients who are having trouble covering the cost of medications can obtain assistance in identifying and accessing resources to help pay for these prescriptions.
- Substance Abuse Treatment – Patients have access to screening, brief interventions, and outpatient therapy on-site as well as coordinated referrals to inpatient treatment.
- Short Term Financial Assistance – Case managed clients can apply for financial assistance to help with short term expenses related to employment, education, and supportive service needs not covered by other funding sources.
Achieving viral suppression helps people live longer, healthier lives. It also reduces sexual transmission of HIV by 96%.
- Oral Health Care – Oral health is an important part of HIV care but access can be a barrier. Dental services are available through our two dental clinics and financial assistance may be available to those who qualify.
- Onsite Pharmacy – Primary Health Care has an on-site pharmacy at the 1200 University location. Our pharmacy accepts Medicaid and also provides those without insurance access to low cost medications.
- Health Education – Our program emphasizes ongoing health education and health promotion in an effort to improve overall well-being. Patients are encouraged to be active participants in their health care and decision making.
- HIV Medical Care – We strive to provide comprehensive and up-to-date healthcare to those living with HIV. Our clinician has almost 30 years of experience with HIV healthcare, leading a team of nurse care managers, case managers, prevention specialists as well as a behavioral health clinician.
- Smoking Cessation – The smoking cessation program assists clients in obtaining prescription and over-the-counter cessation aids, provides brief counseling and support, and assists clients in accessing Quitline Iowa services.
- Primary Health Care – Our integrated approach to health care offers lifelong primary health care services with preventive strategies, management of other chronic diseases, acute care, behavioral and substance use evaluation.
- Adherence Counseling – Using a client-centered approach, patients are assisted in managing medication adherence issues through education, the identification and removal of barriers to adherence, and hands-on support.
- Medication Management – The comprehensive management of medications is important in the care of HIV and is made possible through the integrated efforts of our HIV/ primary care provider, nurse care managers and pharmacists. This team approach maximizes the benefits and reduces potential interactions from the medications available to our patients.
Assists a client with short-term rental assistance
Helps cover a client’s monthly medication co-pay
Helps fill our food pantry for a week
Helps provide an HIV/STI test at a mobile location
Ways to Support Us
We Want Your Help!
Interested in volunteering? Plan events, assemble safe-sex tool kits or help with administrative work. Email [email protected] to get involved today!
Attend one of our fun events!
- The AIDS Walk/Run is the second Saturday in April at Des Moines University.
- The Red Hot Party is the first Thursday in August at the Iowa State Bar Association Building.
- Live Out Loud (formerly known as The Benefit) is the second Sunday in November at Wooly’s.
Donations make a difference in the lives of our patients and clients!
- A donation of $125 can help over a monthly co-pay for the life-saving medications of someone who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
- A gift of $65 can help stock our food pantry.
- A gift of $31 can help fund onsite HIV/STD testing and counseling.
- A gift of $14 can pay for 3 safe-sex took kits.
A volunteer coalition began addressing HIV in the Des Moines area.
Primary Health Care, was funded to provide HIV medical services and became a Ryan White Title 111b provider in 1990.
The Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS, recommended opening a social service agency.
After opening its doors in 1991 the AIDS Project of Central Iowa (The Project) became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
The Project merged with Primary Health Care, to form The Project of Primary Health Care. The expansion brough medical and social services under one roof, reduced overhead costs, and expanded resources available to clients.
Primary Health Care
This site contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
phctheproject.org presents published material, reprinted with permission and neither endorses nor opposes any material. All information contained on this website, including information relating to health conditions, products, and treatments, is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professionals. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.
The Project of Primary Health Care, Primary Health Care is an Iowa non-profit, and is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. All materials appearing on phctheproject.org are copyrighted and property of their respective owners. © 2015 The Project of Primary Health Care