Caring Communities For AIDS is a non-profit, community-based AIDS Service Organization (ASO) located in Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Bloomsburg, and Towanda, Pennsylvania.
Originally, in 1991, our agency began as an informal, grassroots organization in response to the local HIV/AIDS need. The organization, located in Danville, Pennsylvania at the time, was comprised primarily of people who either had HIV/AIDS or were concerned citizens who directly observed the stigma and lack of resources for people who were infected with HIV/AIDS in Columbia and Montour Counties.
As the epidemic of HIV/AIDS began to quickly spread throughout this region and infect more residents of the local area, the need to make a more official and permanent organization dedicated to helping those with HIV became increasingly apparent. In 1994, the agency became known as the Danville AIDS Task Force providing much needed support and essential services to those infected with HIV/AIDS including clothing, food and other similar assistance.
In 1997, the Danville AIDS Task Force changed its name to Caring Communities For AIDS and relocated to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. As time progressed, Caring Communities expanded its services to include the southern portion of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Eventually, this agency became a visible part of the community educating individuals and groups about and helping those living with HIV/AIDS. Caring Communities For AIDS held AIDS Walks, candlelight vigils, holiday open houses among other events to successfully further the causes of HIV/AIDS awareness and support. In 2005, after the departure of the agency director, the Board of Directors voted to affiliate with Xceed America, a parent company that operated individual non-profit organizations under the same umbrella corporation.
However, in 2006, Caring Communities For AIDS’ Board of Directors met once again to discuss the agency’s involvement with Xceed America. After some debate, the Board made the decision that the organization could better serve its clients as a sole organization.
In 2007, Caring Communities relocated its headquarters into office space within the Ali Medical Center, Berwick, Pennsylvania. In addition, our agency gained other office space to meet with clients in extreme rural portions of our service area. The office spaces were donated to us by officials from Shamokin Hospital, Coal Township, Zion Lutheran Church, Sunbury, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Milton, Pennsylvania and are still used to this day.
As time progressed, Caring Communities For AIDS expanded to provide HIV and STD related services in Luzerne and surrounding counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2008, the agency began to offer regular testing for HIV and syphilis in high risk venues including gay bars and gay campgrounds located in this portion of the state via a contract with the state Department of Health. Eventually, in 2009, Caring Communities acquired funding via the Northeast Regional HIV Planning Coalition to provide HIV prevention interventions.
Caring Communities For AIDS expanded again in 2016 to include Hepatitis C testing and a Free STD Clinic in the Center City Medical Complex in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
In 2017, Caring Communities For AIDS moved the Berwick location to Bloomsburg and acquired additional office space in Towanda, Pennsylvania, as well as expanding the number of staff to provide our services.
Caring Communities For AIDS also began Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) Services in November of 2017 to offer another form of protection against HIV.
Caring Communities has received the 2010 Community Advocacy Award from the Bloomsburg University LGBT Commission and the 2015 Rainbow Award from the NEPA Rainbow Alliance, honors we’re quite proud of!
Our staff and board has received certifications related to the field of HIV/AIDS including HIV Testing and Counseling certification, Project RESPECT DEBI certification, phlebotomy, nursing and drug/alcohol education certifications.