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Community Update

Positives Choices: A Sexual Health Program for HIV-Positive Men That Have Sex With Men

March 14, 2003

Lifelong AIDS Alliance now offers a free service where you can discuss your feelings about your sexual health in a safe, neutral environment and get one-on-one support. This service focuses on HIV-positive men changing their behavior to stop the spread of HIV and to prevent re-infection or contracting other STDs.

Positive Choices Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is Positive Choices a research study?
No, Positive Choices is not a research study. Although the structure is similar to a study, none of the information we collect will be used for research in any way.

2. What is done with the information collected?
Participants complete a questionnaire that is used by Positive Choices to evaluate the program. We have contracted staff from the University of Washington to use this information to help us evaluate our own program for effectiveness. However, they will not use it in their research. None of the information you provide will become part of your case management file, and none of the information will be shared with your case manager unless you give us permission to do so.

3. How much time will participating take?
The initial meeting usually takes 45 minutes to an hour at most. You may come in for up to three follow up sessions, each taking about 45 minutes to an hour. Six months after our last follow up meeting, we will contact you to come back to complete the questionnaire again. At that time you will be again offered the chance to come back for up to three follow up sessions.

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4. What happens in a follow up session?
The follow up session is a chance you to talk about what it is like to be sexually active and HIV positive. Specifically, the following topics are addressed as needed: disclosure to sex partners, transmission risk beliefs, substance use, attitudes about condom use and fears of rejection, among whatever other topics you wish to address.

5. Who is eligible for Positive Choices?
Sexually active, HIV positive men who have sex with men. This does include men who identify as heterosexual but are having sex with men and pre-op transgender women (male to female). If you are not sexually active, but anticipate being sexually active in the next six months, you may participate if interested. Clients who are not and do not anticipate being sexually active will probably not find Positive Choices useful for them. Currently we are not funded to serve women, HIV negative MSM or heterosexual men who are not having sex with men.

6. How do I get the Safeway vouchers?
Each time you come in for a Positive Choices session you will get a $20 gift card to Safeway. You can use these cards at any Safeway you choose.

7. How can I participate in Positive Choices?
Talk with your case manager and let them know you want to be a part of this program, or contact Katie Heidere, Prevention Case Management Supervisor at 206.957.1679 or positivechoices@lifelongaidsalliance.org.




  
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This article was provided by Seattle Treatment Education Project. It is a part of the publication STEP Ezine.
 
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