We protest and demonstrate. We meet with government and public health officials. We research and distribute the latest medical information. We are not silent.

EDT

Image credit:  Let's Kick ASS (AIDS Survivors Syndrome), http://bit.ly/2xI21eo

 

At ACT UP Central PA, we would like to utilize this day to honor HLTS (HIV long-term survivors) and raise awareness of concerns specific to this segment of our community.  While we, and the larger HIV advocacy community, do have a certain amount of focus on various prevention, education, and harm-reduction efforts, we never forget HLTS and other members of our community who are living with HIV, regardless of how long we've been living with HIV.  They and all those we have lost are always in our hearts and thoughts and they serve as an inspirational motivating force in everything that we do.

HIV survival has not come without a price.  Many of us have problems attaining or sustaining housing, medical care, proper amounts of healthy foods, and other problems including addiction.  If you have any needs in these areas of your life, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can put you in contact with people who have devoted their professional lives to helping people living with HIV or AIDS.

AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS) is a complex version of PTSD.  It can cause survivors to feel like they no longer fit in with a society that they formerly navigated with ease.  Internalized stigma, shame, and fear have prompted many of us to live lives of social isolation, depression, anxiety, and even suicide ideation.

One of our ACT UP Central PA co-founders has been certified by the Pennsylvania Certification Board as a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS).  This means he is trained to work with people in recovery from mental health challenges.  He is a person living with HIV for over a decade, and he has lost friends to AIDS-related complications.  Jay is also a person in recovery from substance use disorder and mental health challenges.  This summer, he is attaining his CRS (Certified Recovery Specialist) and CFRS (Certified Family Recovery Specialist) certifications.  If you need and want free help from someone who is committed to our HIV community and understands where you are coming from, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 570-980-1050.  Jay also leads/facilitates an HIV & HCV Support Group twice per month in Williamsport.  For more information, call 570-322-8448.

Stay safe, love one another, and practice self-care!

For more information about HLTS or Let's Kick ASS, visit this website.

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