Our Game Plan
We were formed and founded upon the work and words of Jesus.
It is Jesus who calls on us to care for the sick (Matt. 25: 31-45) and to reach out to those shunned and disenfranchised of our community. Jesus demands that we love each other. (John 15:12)
Work to End HIV/AIDS
A Model to End HIV/AIDS has been developed and is being used across this country in the hopes of ending this epidemic. Here are the 3 prongs as outlined by the New York Department of Public Health in their Blueprint to END AIDS.
1. Identify persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and link them to health care;
2. Link and retain persons diagnosed with HIV to health care and get them on anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission.
3. Facilitate access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) for high-risk persons to keep them HIV-negative.
Impact the Opioid Epidemic
Since mid 2013, Samaritan Ministry has worked with our secular partners to search for ways to address the opioid crisis in our region of the country. This journey usually means that we are the only “faith partner” at the table, but our presence, and the presence of Christ, is important. Here are some of the ways that we are addressing this urgent public health crisis:
1. We sit at the table with two local groups, The Harm Reduction Coalition, and the Metro Drug Coalition.
2. We engage with the Tennessee Department of Health to help address the Hepatitis C epidemic, especially in the Appalachian region. This partnership includes HCV training and testing.
3. We actively support 3 new Syringe Services Programs in East Tennessee.
If you or someone you know needs help with drug or alcohol addiction, call the Tennessee Redline at 1-800-889-9789. They provide up-to-date addiction information and referrals to Tennessee residents.
Engage with Others
Samaritan Ministry is committed to providing support, encouragement, and advocacy in a community where the influence of the faith community in ending this epidemic is minimal.
PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is the use of medication to prevent HIV infection. PrEP, introduced in 2012, is an HIV prevention strategy that WORKS. Taking Truvada (the only approved PrEP medication at this time) once a day will prevent transmission of HIV from between 96 and 99%. This is an amazing new HIV prevention strategy. PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%.
Central Baptist Church of Bearden
Broadway CARES/ Equity Fights AIDS
Cedar Springs Presbyterian
Central Baptist Fountain City
The City of Knoxville
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
East Tennessee AIDS Fund
Helen Ross McNabb Center
Hope Center (Covenant Health)
MAC AIDS Fund
Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
West Knox Cooperative Food Pantry (FISH)
Samaritan Ministry administers HIV testing by appointment. We use the OraQuick Rapid HIV test, manufactured by OraSure Technologies, a proven, effective choice for accurate results in twenty minutes. Testing is always free and confidential. Contact us for more information.
The HIV rapid antibody test is an oral swab.
There are other places in our area to get tested for HIV, including:
Helen Ross McNabb Center: (865) 329-9023
Knox County Health Department: (865) 215-5370
Planned Parenthood: (865) 694-7155
Positively Living/Choice Health Network: (865) 525-1540
Those who test positive for HIV antibodies will be followed with additional testing and referral to healthcare that is available to everyone regardless of income level or insurance status.
If you are not living in the Knoxville area, use this link to find an HIV testing service in your area.
Hepatitis C (HCV) antibody testing is also available by appointment. A positive HCV test must be followed with a blood test to confirm the presence of viral DNA. This can be done at the Knox County Health Department.
The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.