Connecticut: Program Works to Provide Jobs for People With HIV
October 31, 2007
Thirteen years ago, AIDS drugs stopped working for Norman Bishop, and the Middletown man was hospitalized in bad shape. Happily, he was able to access the newly available AIDS cocktail drug therapy, and his health improved. After attending an AIDS conference and hearing a presentation entitled "Employment, a Treatment Option that Works," he helped establish the nonprofit Positive Solutions.
Headquartered on Rapallo Ave. in Middletown, Positive Solutions provides HIV-positive people with part-time employment and assistance in managing their disease. Its facility includes a computer lab and a large workroom where participants can do piecework for various manufacturers. Handbags, jewelry, clothing, and art are among items for sale at its retail space in the Main Street Marketplace.
Recently, however, Positive Solutions has suffered a setback. Its largest client, Tower Laboratories, had grown its business to the point at which it was no long feasible to have its products hand-packaged by the group's members.
Now Bishop is searching for new products Positive Solutions' participants can package. He has laid off all his staff and is working 60-70 hours a week for a small stipend as he tries to keep the store and the nonprofit afloat. "I keep hoping for a better day," he said.
10.26.2007; Carolyn Moreau
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.