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The Project Aims to End HIV

The Project of the Quad Cities

A local nonprofit is making sure that everyone has access to professional mental and sexual health care.

 The Project of the Quad Cities held a ribbon cutting ceremony  on Thursday to celebrate its new clinic in Moline.

The Project was founded in 1986 and has been located in several places. But, Executive Director Andrea Meirick says the mission has remained the same.

"Our goal is not to make money, like health systems usually do," said Meirick. "Our goal is to actually end HIV, to stop transmissions. All of our staff salaries, for the most part, are covered under a grant. So we get to focus on our outcomes."

Although the downtown Moline office is primarily an STD clinic, Meirick says The Project provides a lot more services. They include testing, treatment, prevention, a pharmacy, counseling, and support groups. 

Viminda Shafer is developing an LGBTQ support program for The Project.

"We are a safe place for everyone. We are not interested in your documentation status, we are not interested in insurance status, we are not interested in your orientation, the color of your skin, any of that," said Shafer. "We are interested in you asa person, first and foremost."

The Project also organizes community events. On Friday, January 18, it will be at Augustana College offering free STD testing for students.

I'm currently a Senior at Augustana College, working on majors in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication and Communication Studies. In addition to interning at the station, I also work for the Augustana Observer, the college's official student newspaper, as a writer for the Arts and Entertainment section.