California: Stop AIDS Project Unveils New Programs for HIVers
August 31, 2005
San Francisco's Stop AIDS Project (SAP) recently announced new outreach, support, and prevention efforts targeting gay and bisexual men who are HIV-positive. The initiatives are funded by a $1.5 million city Department of Public Health contract, with nearly $400,000 earmarked for HIV-positive outreach. The programs range from special events to support groups and workshops, and are designed for those recently diagnosed with HIV, particularly men under age 40 and people of color.
"For us, these programs are about reducing the stigma of being HIV-positive and to help in HIV prevention," said Michael Cooley, SAP's Positive Force program director.
Beginning Sept. 17-18, SAP will offer a series of weekend-long Positive Living for Us Seminars (PLUS). Offered five times annually -- including one specifically for men of color -- this cornerstone intervention program will include sessions on health, nutrition, HIV pathology, medication and complementary therapies information, public and private insurance options, and harm reduction strategies. It includes a small group panel discussion on what Cooley called "the human side of being HIV-positive," such as telling one's family, partner disclosure techniques, and general coping mechanisms.
A Tuesday small group support program for recently diagnosed men begins Sept. 6. The drop-in program will be peer-facilitated and acts as feeder mechanism for PLUS.
Also in September, Positive Force will distribute an informational brochure, "I Just Found Out I Have HIV, Now What?" to city doctors' offices, HIV testing sites, and clinics. Positive Force will help medical service providers recognize patients who are in denial about their HIV-positive status and facilitate their referral to support organizations.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.