EFA’s Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) program provides resources to people living with HIV/AIDS so they can keep pet companions as long as possible. PAWS strongly supports the deep bond between people and their pets and strives to ensure that clients do not experience the loss of pets due to financial hardship, lack of transportation, or hospitalization. PAWS helps its clients cover some of the expenses of caring for a pet by offering free pet food and supplies (e.g., heartworm and flea/tick preventative medications) as well as assistance with veterinary bills for pet care. http://www.stlefa.org/paws
Saint Louis Effort for AIDS (EFA) is a non-profit organization started in 1985 by a small group of dedicated volunteers who mobilized to create a compassionate response to people who were diagnosed with HIV and dying from complications of AIDS in the St. Louis area. For over 30 years, EFA’s innovative service delivery has exemplified its mission “to provide education on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and comprehensive support services to those affected by the disease.”
Historically, EFA has been a leader in offering in social services to people living with HIV/AIDS – including case management and the Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) program – in addition to HIV/STI testing and prevention services, and insurance enrollment assistance. EFA’s annual Dining Out for Life (DOFL) fundraising event has raised both funds and awareness in the local community to support HIV prevention and care services.
In 2018, EFA took a major leap forward in the fight against HIV/AIDS by merging with AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) in order to offer an HIV medical home to people living with HIV/AIDS. Through this new model, EFA has moved to a new, larger, state-of-the-art facility and now offers an onsite medical clinic and pharmacy. In the coming months, EFA will expand its service delivery further to include food pantry, behavioral health, dental care, and legal services. EFA is the only program in St. Louis offering an integrated model of care with this range of services available in one location.
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