New clinic opens in Olympia to serve HIV-positive people in region

The state Department of Health, SeaMar Community Health Center and a division of Harborview Medical Center have joined forces to open a new clinic in Olympia that will serve HIV-positive people in the region.

That region includes Thurston County, as well as Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. The new clinic is based at SeaMar Community Health Center at 3030 Limited Lane N.W., Olympia. HIV-related medical services are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays. For more information, call 360-742-5000.

The health department estimates that more than 500 people in the region are living with HIV and 60 of them have been notified about the new clinic. More would have been notified, but the state only has release of information approval and contact information for 60, said Richard Aleshire, state Department of Health program manager for HIV client services.

The new clinic opened in May, but due to the low patient reponse, the state finally released an announcement about the clinic on Wednesday. The announcement delay was due to the fact that the state expected a more immediate response to the clinic, similar to what happened to state Department of Health-sponsored clinics in Bremerton and Everett, Aleshire said.

A fourth clinic is set to open in Federal Way next month.

The state Department of Health is funding the clinic -- $51,000 for the first 14 months -- SeaMar is hosting the clinic, and it is being operated by Harborview Madison Clinic, an HIV clinic run by Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.