Iris House Marks Six Years of Providing Services to At-risk Communities in New Jersey

NEW YORK, NY – On Saturday, September 16, 2017, Iris House, the country’s first community-based organization to meet the needs of women, families and at-risk communities infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, today announced it is co-hosting the Sixth annual Plainfield Community Health & Wellness Fair.  The Fair brings together local community organizations to offer Plainfield residents disease prevention education, supportive services and free screening/testing services for a number of healthcare issues critical to the community, including HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STI), obesity, Hypertension, diabetes and breast cancer.  The fair will take place on September 16, 2017, from 11am to 3pm at The Plaza at Plainfield Park, Madison Building, 200 West 2nd Street, Plainfield, NJ  07060.

Participating organizations include Angels For Action, Community Access Unlimited, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Visions and Pathways, JFK Medical Center, Planned Parenthood of Central & Greater Northern NJ, Hopes Action (Head Start), NJ Sharing Network, Covenant House, Catholic Charities, Trinitas Hospital and Partnership for Maternal Child Health of Northern New Jersey, Live entertainment also will be provided with performances by local artists, dance troupes and a DJ.  In addition to Iris House, the community health and wellness fair is co-sponsored by Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, Pepe’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, Wellcare Health Plans, Brown Funeral Home, Inc. Home First, Organization for Recovery, Prevention Links & New Jersey Department of Health-Division of HIV/STD & TB Services.

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Plainfield has been greatly affected by HIV/AIDS. As of 12/31/2016, 545 residents (1.1% of the population) were living with HIV, a rate over 400% the national rate. Of these residents, 37% (almost 2 in 5) were women, 150% the national average. In addition, reports of other sexually transmitted diseases were also high in Plainfield.  As many as 4 in 5 women living in Plainfield and 75% were under 26 years of age reported a STI diagnosis.

“Iris House has provided an invaluable service to the community” said Mayor of Plainfield, Adrian O. Mapp “The fact is that prevention is the most important thing you can do to combat the spread of diseases caused by close contact, such as HIV. Iris House continues to do an exemplary job educating, informing, and providing help and resources to those that need it most. Our City has benefited greatly from having them as a partner here in Plainfield.”

Iris House has three locations, including two offices in Manhattan, as well as delivering services in the Bronx, New York.  Our Plainfield, NJ location is at Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church (630 East Front St. (Suite 100) provides HIV/AIDS testing, prevention and education services to local and surrounding area residents.  In addition, Iris House currently has engaged ten Plainfield businesses to participate in its condom distribution program.  Services in Plainfield have been made possible partly through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health (and the US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control).

"Iris House continues to provide the necessary services of HIV/AIDS education and testing to the Plainfield Community,” said Rev. W. Golden Carmon, Senior Pastor of Mount Zion A.M.E. Church “During the past five years the number of HIV/AIDS cases continues to decline and the quality of life of young people is improved in the community. And we are honored once again to be a sponsor and partner in their annual health and wellness fair, which is critical to driving awareness for improving the overall health in the community."

Ingrid Floyd, Executive Director of Iris House, said, "We are very proud of the work and growth our Plainfield programs has shown in the last few years, and the new services we’ve been able to add for the people of our city.  Since we first came to New Jersey, Iris House has worked with approximately 2,600 individuals in the state, taught in 7 schools and churches, given away more than 100,000 condoms each year, and conducted more than 300 HIV Rapid Tests each year.”

Event Information

Date:              Saturday, September 16, 2017

Time:             11:00am - 3:00pm ET

Location:     The Plaza at Plainfield Park
Madison Building, 200 West 2nd Street
Plainfield, NJ  07060
 

For more information or to RSVP:  Please visit http://www.irishouse.org contact, Audria Russell, Iris House, (908) 561-5057 or (908) 342-3924, arussell@irishouse.org

About Iris House
Iris House provides services for women, families and communities infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  In addition to providing family-centered services that promote prevention, education and awareness, Iris House also offers practical services that address the day-to-day needs and reality of living with HIV/AIDS.  Iris House provides nutritional counseling and meal programs, intensive case management, scatter site housing, mental health services and support groups, and job and life skills training.  Since opening its doors in 1993, Iris House has assisted thousands of individuals cope with HIV/AIDS and reached tens of thousands of people in our communities through outreach, prevention education and free HIV Rapid Testing.  For more information on Iris House and Iris House programs, please visit www.irishouse.org.