NORFOLK--A $900,000 grant will help Eastern Virginia Medical School care for indigent HIV patients.

The money, which will come in over three years, is from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program and will used by physicians for early intervention services in primary care settings.

The money means groups like Access Aids in Norfolk that recruit people in the high-risk demographic of the African-American population can refer more people to EVMS.

Dr. Lara Beth Gadkowsky, an assistant professor at EVMS, will be presenting her research at an AIDS forum Wednesday in Va. Beach.

When she moved here from North Carolina, she was shocked at how many people were diagnosed too late. EVMS reports since 2007 the number of HIV/AIDS patients treated there has surged by 250%.

She says because of the region's proximity to Washington, DC, the community sees a trickle-down effect.

EVMS says its physicians see the majority of low-income HIV patients in Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

EVMS receives funding to run six clinics in Hampton Roads and two rural clinics one on the Eastern Shore and the other in Gloucester.

In a news release Monday, EVMS said the money comes in the nick of time.

'The numbers are staggering. In just this upcoming year, we're looking at potentially 518 patients new to us, including newly diagnosed, people who have been out of care and returned, and those who transfer their care,' Edward C. Oldfield, MD, Director of the EVMS Center for the Comprehensive Care of Immune Deficiency (C3IDD), said.

EMVS says efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS are paying off.

Being on treatment decreases HIV transmission by 96 percent,' Dr. Oldfield says. 'So the mantra now is treatment is prevention.'

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