Connecticut: Center Helps People With HIV/AIDS Live Through Support, Medical Care
March 14, 2006
The Living Center is a Hartford program sponsored by the Community Renewal Team that provides counseling, medical services, and referrals to people with HIV/AIDS. Clients are referred to the center by other agencies and must be HIV-positive.
Since relocating in January to 25 Main St., the center has lost some space but gained new services, including massage and acupuncture therapy. In addition, clients can now more easily access the center, since it is now on a bus route.
"I was really depressed and suicidal when I found out," said Josh Simms, 24, referring to his reaction to being diagnosed HIV-positive. "I didn't think I'd live long. They saved my life here. I think I would still be hanging out with the same negative people."
"It's like a big family here," said one woman, who wished to remain anonymous. "Everyone here is in their own stage of the disease. We meet here every day and when someone isn't here, we notice it. The object is to help each other to be strong."
"I want people to understand how to be safe, to be protected and to take care of themselves," said Jose Vega, the center's assistant director of supportive housing. The center is supported through federal Ryan White funding.
"I'm not happy about my situation, about being sick, but I'm happy to be here," said John Woodward, who was homeless and had little access to care when he joined the center in 1997.
For more information, telephone the Community Renewal Team at 860-247-1088.
03.06.06; Melissa Pionzio
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.