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Peer advocacy

Mission

The mission of the Peer Advocates Coalition of Central Virginia is to provide support and advocacy for persons newly diagnosed or “lost to care.” The coalition is made up of a team of participants who are committed to providing one-on-one peer support, education and advocacy, with particular emphasis in communities of color especially women with children, substance abusers, young teens and other “at risk” groups. 

Overview

Originally created in 1996, the Patient Advocacy Committee changed its name to Peer Advocates Coalition of Central Virginia in January 2001, to reflect its evolving role in assisting individuals with HIV. PACOCV is a standing committee organized under the HIV/AIDS Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. The coalition receives funding from pharmaceutical entities, the Central Virginia HIV Care Consortium, Ryan White Title II and Title IV Grant funding, and other private sponsors. PACOCV’s diverse representation of the community serves as a catalyst for change to the delivery of health care services.

Program activities

The services Peer Advocates offer include:

  • Assisting individuals in securing entitlement benefits.
  • Navigating individuals through often complex systems of care.
  • Non-invasive HIV antibody testing for family members and significant others, including pre- and post-test counseling.
  • One-on-one peer counseling.
  • Medication adherence education.
  • Community mobilization and outreach to at-risk population.

Governing body

PACOCV has a governing body that meets every third Thursday of the month. This body is responsible for fundraising, outreach and support for people who are infected with HIV or who have AIDS in the Central Virginia area.

More information

Lois Brown
PACOCV Coordinator
VCU HIV/AIDS Center
P.O. Box 980147
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0147
Phone: (804) 828-2234
Toll free: (800) 525-7605
Fax: (804) 828-1795
E-mail: pacocv@vcu.edu