YRG Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE)
At first, YRG CARE was a one-woman show, with Dr. Solomon addressing audiences that were receptive to her message: school children, community gatherings, civic groups. When there was a need to take care of somebody, she would rent a room in a lodge. Later, friends gave her space in the houses they owned. Eventually, the organization grew large enough to rent the upper storey of a house on Raman Street in the T-Nagar subdivision of Chennai.
This became a nucleus for counseling, HIV and STI testing, community and educational outreach services, and a walk-in clinic for people living with HIV or for those who had reason to believe they could be infected, However, Dr. Solomon now saw people with advanced stages of AIDS, and needed in-patient care. After a long and often discouraging search, she finally located a disused building in the Voluntary Health Services (VHS) hospital campus in Taramani, Chennai. The building had once been the leprosy ward of the hospital, which in some ways was fitting because AIDS was “the new leprosy.”
YRG CARE also has satellite offices in the Chennai subdivisions of Chetpet and Royapuram, catering to specific community outreach projects, and a facility in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, to cater to the local people who would otherwise have needed to travel to Chennai.
Besides its services to people living with HIV and its educational and community outreach, YRG CARE has an international reputation for clinical, behavioural and epidemiological research, and has partners within India and across the globe.