The climate for serving people living with HIV/AIDS in Colorado is continually evolving. As HIV/AIDS has changed over the last 30 years, so too have the demographics and needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, the funding streams and amounts available to support them, and healthcare delivery as a whole. This evolution has prompted new, more collaborative, more strategic ways of thinking about the delivery of services to those living with HIV and AIDS, as well prevention education.
In 2006, Colorado’s five regional AIDS service organizations (ASOs) began exploring if these evolutions called them to merge their operations. Those ASOs were:
- Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP)
- Colorado AIDS Project (CAP, serving the Denver metro area)
- Northern Colorado AIDS Project (NCAP)
- Southern Colorado AIDS Project (S-CAP)
- Western Colorado AIDS Project (WestCAP)
Each CAP was founded more than 20 years ago and all have provided continuous service to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their families while simultaneously working to prevent new infections. Independently, the CAPs serve more than 3,300 HIV-positive (HIV+) Coloradans annually and an additional 30,000 people through prevention and education programs.
Four of the five determined that a merged organization was necessary. (BCAP opted out of the discussion in 2010.) They determined that the right move at the right time for individuals living with or at risk of HIV and AIDS in Colorado was to form the new, statewide Colorado AIDS Project.
The purpose of the merger was to forge efficiencies, improve services, and leverage funding so the organizations may have greater and more sustainable impact. It was a strategic, statewide response to a rapidly evolving need, our community’s insulation against unknown future federal and state mandates and unpredicted changes in funding. The new, statewide Colorado AIDS Project is situated to serve, no matter what the future holds.
The new, statewide Colorado AIDS Project was officially announced in October 2011. The merger was finalized with a steadfast commitment to ensuring that the experience of clients and donors will remain the same – immensely, uniquely local – while mindful that a unified front will mean greater efficiency, greater access to funds, and greater leveraging of funds to meet the evolving needs of those living with HIV and AIDS and to reduce new infections.