HIV/AIDS continues to be an epidemic with particular severity in our state. New Jersey has the highest estimated proportion of women living with AIDS in the entire United States. New Jersey has the nation’s 4th highest rate of HIV among adults and the 2nd highest rate of HIV among children. And though African Americans account for 13% of the population, they account for 56% of the adults and adolescents in New Jersey living with HIV and AIDS. Sources: The AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey; Campaign for a Healthier New Jersey of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey .
New Jersey is fortunate to have a number of America’s most effective organizations serving people with HIV and AIDS. They include the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, New Jersey’s largest HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and public policy organization. Hyacinth has offices in New Brunswick, Trenton, North Plainfield, Newark, Jersey City and Paterson. Garden State Equality highly recommends visiting Hyacinth’s website. It is a remarkably comprehensive resource for people with HIV/AIDS.
Hyacinth runs a toll-free hotline at 1 (800) 433-0254 that provides information, referrals, counseling support, and crisis intervention to over 3,000 callers annually. The Hyacinth hotline can give you information about basic facts of HIV and AIDS, risk behavior, transmission, prevention, and treatment, as well as Hyacinth and other HIV-related services. The toll-free number works only in New Jersey. Outside New Jersey, the hotline number is (732) 246-0204.
There are a number of exceptional local HIV/AIDS service organizations across the state.
Also in North Jersey are several HIV/AIDS support groups at the Pride Connections Center in Jersey City. Every Monday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the Center hosts a support group for HIV+ people ages 13 to 30. Every Thursday from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, the Center hosts an HIV+ spirituality group. And every Thursday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the Center holds the group Gay and Bisexual Men with HIV. The Center is at 32 Jones Street in Jersey City.
The New Jersey Women and AIDS Network is one of the country’s oldest women-specific HIV and AIDS service organizations.