Paul Fitzgerald founded the Family AIDS Center for Treatment (FACTS) in 1987 to address mother to child transmission of HIV. He worked tirelessly with community members to establish housing, preventative care, and counseling to families affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2010, AIDS Care Ocean State celebrated its 20th anniversary, and we look forward to providing essential services to persons living with HIV/AIDS until there is a cure.
1987: The Family AIDS Center for Treatment and Support (FACTS) is incorporated on December 17th to provide assistance to parents of HIV positive children.
1988: FACTS and Rhode Island Hospital work to establish a pediatric AIDS clinic under the direction of Dr. Peter Smith. It is one of 13 original pediatric AIDS programs in the country.
1989: FACTS House opens its doors to three babies in its nursery and two families in the apartments. The first clients move into Sunrise House and it becomes a registered non-profit.
1991: FACTS moves its offices to a larger building on Parkis Avenue and continue to expand case management and staffing.
1994: ACOS begins the ENCORE (Education, Needle Exchange, Counseling, Outreach and Referral) Program to provide clean needles to intravenous drug users to prevent HIV transmission from used syringes. This initiative serves an important need as RI Law prohibits the sale of syringes without prescription.
1996: In June, a fire at FACTS closes the nursery and the children are welcomed at St. Joseph’s Hospital until damage can be repaired. The FACTS nursery reopens after three months of repairs.
1997: Adam’s Clinic opens – collaboration between AIDS Care Ocean State and Miriam Hospital to expand testing, treatment and counseling for teens.
1998: FACTS nursery and Sunrise House officially merge to form AIDS Care Ocean State - making us the largest provider of services to persons living with HIV/AIDS in the state. In May, a 15 unit apartment building to house HIV positive individuals and families is dedicated to Jeff Austin and officially named Austin Place.
1999: FACTS nursery moves to an upgraded and generously donated new building on Tanner Street. The old facility is now converted into the ACOS prevention headquarters.
2001: First annual ACOS Artist Calendar which features work by Rhode Island artists and designers is released.
2002: In June, ACOS unveils a billboard on interstate 95 North with a controversial message to spark renewed debate and action on the issue of HIV.
2003: ACOS launches a transitional housing program called New Transitions, for HIV positive Rhode Islanders who are at risk of losing their housing.
2004: ACOS runs the summer program – Camp Stepping Stones, a camp for children infected or affected by HIV. Twenty children between ages 5 and 14 spend a week camping with fun day trips.
2005: Peter Medoff New England Award presented to ACOS Founder and CEO Paul Fitzgerald. The ENCORE Program receives state grant and begins providing viral hepatitis screenings as well as Hepatitis A & B vaccinations.
2006: ACOS opens a Prevention Center to provide rapid HIV testing, safe sex materials, and counseling. ACOS also open its Donation Center.
2007: A 10-unit apartment complex is attached to Austin Place in Pawtucket and is officially dedicated to Reverend Raymond B. Malm: The Malm Manor.
2008: ACOS constructs 6 multi-family housing units for persons living with HIV and their families, in addition to Malm Manor, Sunrise House, Austin Place and New Transitions. ACOS acquires its Speakers Bureau. Speakers provide HIV/AIDS prevention and education information to schools across Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
2009: ACOS revitalized the Drag Bingo event which becomes the largest fundraising event for the agency, attracting crowds up to 900 people.
2010: ACOS celebrates 20 years of service to the community
2012: Due to the success of Pediatric AIDS clinical trials, Rhode Island children are no longer being born infected with HIV. In February, the last client moves out of FACTS House and FACTS officially closes. ACOS receives a $1.7 million grant to build additional housing units for our clients in the historic Elmwood section of Providence.
2014: ACOS Prevention incorporates PreExposure Prophylaxis (PReP) into testing and prevention services. PReP is shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to ninety-two percent.
2015: ACOS celebrated its 25th anniversary and opens the East Long Pond Apartments, an additional 10 units to its Housing Program. The project is funded through The State of Rhode Island Housing Home Fund and the US Department of Housing. The ENCORE Program becomes a distributor of NARCAN, a lifesaving drug that can prevent opioid overdoes.
2016: AIDS Care Ocean State begins the CoExist program, providing independent sober living opportunities to people who are HIV positive.
2017: AIDS Care Ocean State receives the At-Large Project Award from the Providence Preservation Society for converting historic homes into 10-unit structures for people who are HIV positive.
2018: AIDS Care is invited to present an abstract on the CoExist model of independent sober living for the 2018 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment.
2020: AIDS Care Ocean State purchases two multi-family houses, providing a secure living space for our clients and their families.
Your Help Matters
There’s always something happening at AIDS Care Ocean State and we rely on the support of individuals and the community to help us reach our goals.