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Positively Living

  • Need: To provide care and support to eastern Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS, disabilities, mental illness, substance use disorder, and/or homelessness.
  • Intervention: Positively Living provides services like counseling, case management, an HIV/AIDS clinic, and supportive housing.
  • Results: The program currently has 75 PrEP clients and in 2016 opened a second clinic to serve 12 more counties.


According to the Tennessee Department of Health, in 2017, there were 17,522 people in the state living with HIV, a rate of 260.9 per 100,000 people.

Positively Living logo

Positively Living provides care and support to those with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable populations living in a rural 11-county region around urban Knoxville, Tennessee. Originally created as a day center in 1996 for people with HIV/AIDS, the program now serves those with:

  • Disabilities
  • Homelessness
  • Mental illness
  • Substance use disorders

Positively Living received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant.

Services offered

This program provides:

  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Opportunities to socialize

Positively Living also offers Project ACT (Awareness. Counseling. Testing.), a prevention program that offers testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and hepatitis C; navigation services for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); and harm reduction services, including a syringe service program.

In 2016, Positively Living started offering Choice Health Network, a clinic that provides:

  • Primary care
  • Infectious disease care
  • Mental health services
  • Telehealth option for rural clients


Positively Living currently has 175 clients using PrEP.

In 2016, Positively Living opened another HIV treatment and prevention clinic in urban Chattanooga to serve southeastern Tennessee (12 more counties). In addition to the above services, this clinic offers Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA, a federally funded program) and the Supportive Housing Program, which provides case management and affordable housing (29 apartments) to men with:

  • Co-occurring disorders (including HIV/AIDS, mental illness, substance use disorder, and other chronic illnesses)
  • History of chronic homelessness
  • Low incomes or other financial limitations


Positively Living hired a PrEP case manager who focuses on recruitment and connection to services, an HCV coordinator who focuses on testing and outreach, and an outreach coordinator.

Contact Information

Kim Lauth, CFRE, Chief Mission Implementation Officer
Positively Living
865.525.1540 Ext. 396

Behavioral health
Housing and homelessness
People with disabilities

States served

Date added
November 13, 2018

Date updated or reviewed
October 31, 2019

Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.