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Archive for the ‘LIFE Program’ Category

The next Cycle of LIFE begins on 7/31/12.  Please refer anyone you know that
will benefit from this wonderful program to Jeff Grigsby at jgrigsby@PrideCenterFlorida.org
or 954-463-9011 ext. 302

Want a “jump-start” to better living?

Join the L.I.F.E. Program!
We are the PALS Project.  We offer men living with HIV
practical social support, accurate HIV information and effective strategies to lead safer, richer lives.
The 18-week L.I.F.E. Program® (Learning Immune Function Enhancement) can help enhance your health.  It provides practical, step-by-step guidance as you create and implement personal health plans for long-term thriving with HIV.  L.I.F.E.’s fun, supportive environment uses a unique blend of:
Large group meetings

Small group sharing
Experiential exercises
One-on-one health counseling
Participation in the L.I.F.E. Program:
Boosts the immune system
Lowers risky behavior
Increases adherence to health routines, including medication schedules
Si es necesario, Grupos en Espanol
If you are HIV+, this mind-body health program can help you:
Build deeper relationship with new HIV+ friends
Lower HIV-related symptoms
Enhance your sense of psychological and emotional well-being
Raise your level of safe behaviors
Improve the quality of your overall health
Next Cycle Begins:  July 31, 2012,  Intake Interviews begin in
June 2012
Weekly Workshop Times:  Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. for 18 weeks
Interested?  Space is limited.
Contact the PALS Project today:

954.463.9011 xt 302
jgrigsby@PrideCenterFlorida.org

An HIV prevention program funded by the Department of Health, Bureau of HIV/AIDS

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PALS Project and After-Life cordially invite LIFE graduates and their friends and family to

THE 1st Annual Wonderland Party

Saturday December 18, 2010

6:00 – 9:00 PM

Pride Center at Equality Park
Building B (Back Building)

Benefiting “Toys for Kids”. Please bring an unwrapped toy

Come share in this wonderful night surrounded by friends and family with food & beverages provided.

Prize giveaways!

Please RSVP and indicate plus ONE by December 10, 2010 to:
pals.project.ftl@gmail.com

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PALS Project and After-Life cordially invite LIFE graduates and their friends and family to

THE 1st Annual Wonderland Party

Saturday December 18, 2010

6:00 – 9:00 PM

Pride Center at Equality Park
Building B (Back Building)

Benefiting “Toys for Kids”. Please bring an unwrapped toy

Come share in this wonderful night surrounded by friends and family with food & beverages provided.

Prize giveaways!

Please RSVP and indicate plus ONE by December 10, 2010 to:
pals.project.ftl@gmail.com

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Life is always changing. This is one certainty we share.

On January 1, Kristofer Fegenbush, MSW will assume the newly formed role of Deputy Director of the Pride Center. Kristofer is in his fifth year with the Center, as PALS Project Manager. The Deputy Director will oversee programs, operations, facilities and various administrative functions for the Center. Kristofer will support Paul Hyman, Executive Director in this role, capitalizing on opportunities for continued revenue development. In addition, Kristofer will continue in a part-time clinical role with the PALS Project to provide one-on-one health counseling to program participants and to provide support and leadership as needed for LIFE and CHOICES workshops.

Assuming the PALS Project Manager role will be Frank Gurucharri. Frank enters his third year with the Center, as PALS Project Behavioral Health Specialist. He has a long history of effectively managing various programs and initiatives and is well-regarded by PALS Project participants, graduates, volunteers, staff and Health Department officials. We look forward to the expanded impact Frank will have on our community.

Jeff Grigsby and Magno Morales will continue with their consistent, quality leadership of the LIFE and CHOICES programs. Our community is richer for their dedication, compassion and service.

We continue to embrace the future with vision, enthusiasm and appreciation of your enduring support!

*****************************************************

Congratulate Kristofer and Frank the next time you see them

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“Last night was a remarkable experience for me and far exceeded any expectations. I have not attended a candle light vigil for HIV/AIDS in more than ten years. As so many others expressed, the loss experienced over the years is overwhelming. My family of choice disappeared within a matter months as HIV/AIDS claimed their bodies.

Sharing the night with those who attended the Vigil made me aware I have a family by choice today. The vigil is for remembrance of those no longer with us, and also a celebration for those present now. I never expected to laugh and enjoy the night as I did.

Thank you to the men of the L.I.F.E. Project (PALS) for wearing the “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirt and providing your programs to our community.” – Jim

“…the real gift came to me the evening of the candlelight vigil. When I saw the sea of black HIV POSITIVE t-shirts, I was blown away. It was great to see men with smiles wearing their shirts. To see their smiles when they were putting on their shirts and how they stood with pride….letting the universe know their status, was a significant moment for me. It was more than just a t-shirt. It was about us, our friends, our community. Lets continue to stay connected… Stay in the Light” – Joe

For once, I really felt like I belonged.”

“I started walking 18 years ago for my brother who died. Before he got sick, I didn’t know he was Gay and I really didn’t know any Gay people. These walks have connected me to my brother and to the incredible loving world in which he lived.” – Maria

“I was unable to be at the Candlelight Vigil this year due to a bad cold. I am very inspired in several ways. First, your statement of the Black Shirts (tasteful I must add…I am always into ‘simple elegance’) and the number of black shirts was amazing. I am jealous I don’t have one! LOL

“Your ‘shirt’ statement reminded me of what would happen in edgy New York or San Francisco in the past. It also showed how we as individuals can turn a negative situation into a positive one AND be proud. I am SO proud of all of you. Every one of you needs to pat yourself on the back (or where ever you want) and say ‘Great Job!’

“Second, being a photographer I am inspired by the beautiful Black and white photographs. They really add a diminsion to the feeling of the walk and the look of the shirts. Congratulation to the LIFE team and everyone who has benefited from this amazing organization.” – Jeff

I just didn’t think I was ready to wear the Shirt. I put it away deep in my closet so no one would see it. But once I arrived at the Vigil, my fears went away. I found Bob and he gave me a XL. I’m a small guy but it felt good on me. Afterwards I wore it at the Alibi. .”

“With each step I remembered each of my many friends who died and I celebrated them. I also celebrated the many POZ men around me who are my family.” – Micheal

“Walking I felt this incredible energy. Its been years since I last stood up. Amidst this crowd I felt the emergence of new leadership. And I am ready to stand with them. Jim & Joe, we are with you. Thanks!”

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“I drove down to the vigil in a rather somber mood, thinking about all the special people in my life I have lost to AIDS. This is the 1st World AIDS Day vigil I have had the courage to attend. I was afraid during the walk I might break down in tears, because my losses really have been that substantial. But having so many of my friends from the LIFE group around me took my mind off all that sadness. All the friends and loved ones I have lost to AIDS would have been proud to know we are still here, and still living off all the strength and love we shared while they were here with us.” – David

What a glorious sight when I arrived at Hagen Park. They were a hit. I got several inquiries as to where we got them and what PALS and LIFE were about.

“Personally, I felt free and proud – for one night at least, rid of the HIV stigma. It was right there on my chest for all to see. It raised awareness and I did get approached in Bill’s, Alibi and on the street by curious men who said they respected me and my choice to where the shirt.” – Ralph

“Nice work gentlemen. It was an amazing sight. I wanted to share a little something with you too. Jose, Eduardo and I were all wearing our Poz shirts standing together in Alibi afterwards and a guy none of use knew came over and insisted on a group hug. All he kept saying was ‘You guys are just amazing…just amazing.’ Sort of defined the night for me, and you know what? He is right! Thank you!” – Dave

“YES…It was an amazing evening. It was so great to see so many of our fellow LIFEers together wearing the shirts. For me, it was our Graduation! I’m so glad we were all able to share it together.

“Thanks Guys for making this happen and for sharing in this experience together.”

I can hardly express the joy and pride I experienced to walk with such amazing people who made me feel right at home even though I am HIV Negative. I walked mainly for my partner Rudyn to honor his strength and spirit but after last night, my extended family has been enlarged by quite a few special, loving and strong-willed people. Thanks for such an unforgettable experience!!!” – Carlos

To be continued…

– Photos by Bob R.

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Good afternoon Men,

We are very excited to share with you the most recent effort by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services called “Facing AIDS” which is accessible at the following link: http://www.aids.gov/facingaids/

This program recognizes the importance of disclosure. As published on the site. “By Facing AIDS, you’re also supporting the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.” According to the Strategy, “The stigma associated with HIV remains extremely high and fear of discrimination causes some Americans to avoid learning their HIV status, disclosing their status, or accessing medical care.” (Sounds like a few of the co-factors we discussed in the L.I.F.E. program.)

Please visit the web site referenced and read about this innovative program.

Bob, Joe and myself will be at Alibi’s early Wednesday night (about 6:30 PM) to meet and walk with participants of this L.I.F.E. cycle & the POZitive Attitudes group members to Richardson Park. As promised, we will be wearing our “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirts to show support for those persons and organizations who are actively promoting visibility of the HIV positive population to end the stigma associated with this disease.

We encourage you to wear the “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirt donated this past Tuesday night to the participants, facilitators, and staff of PALS/L.I.F.E. Project. We are very glad we can help raise this awareness within our community while giving thanks to each of you for sharing with us your experiences. Please invite your friends/guests to join us and we will make additional shirts available as possible that evening.

We look forward to seeing you.

Our best for a memorable evening,
Jim Cooper, Joe Guerrero, Bob Risse

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The Daily Kos

In today’s Daily Kos, one of the nation’s most popular politcal Web sites, LIFE Program participant David W. writes about his 26 years of living with HIV… and recent discovery of the LIFE Program….

“I moved back to South Florida and was settling in here when I got sick. I got really, really sick. I should have died. Somehow I didn’t? It’s been a struggle. But I’m still here. I’m still alone.

“Over the years I’ve sought out help. Support groups, psychiatrists, caseworkers, and counselors. None have been much help. None were comprehensive enough to address my problems and emotions.

“A few weeks ago I was talking to someone who is also HIV+. He told me of a support group in Ft Lauderdale called the Shanti LIFE Program. They cover everything about surviving with HIV, from every aspect. I searched for them on Google and signed up for their program in San Francisco by mistake. I was crying while I filled out the application. I had been waiting 26 years for someone to talk to, someone who would understand my pain. 26 years of pain hidden deep inside of me. They must have felt compelled to call. They called the next day and referred me to some people in Ft Lauderdale offering the program here. It all happened so quickly. Before I knew it I was sitting in the first meeting of their 11th cycle of the program that started a few weeks ago. It’s an 18-week program. After the first meeting I was driving home. A 40-minute drive. And on that drive I felt a huge weight lifted up from my heart. I saw a light. I felt a tinge of happiness. Something I haven’t felt in 26 years. 26 years ago today.

“I’ll write more when the program is over December 8th. There are 50 guys in the LIFE program here this cycle. Many just diagnosed. Many diagnosed over twenty years ago like me. There are others too, who have died inside like me. But now I have a feeling my life is starting again. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m anxious to share what I have learned. It’s been a long wait.”

Read David’s Story in the Daily Kos…

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The L.I.F.E. Program® is the nation’s leading health-enhancement and wellness-counseling program for people living with HIV. L.I.F.E. provides participants with the knowledge, motivation, skills, and support necessary to establish and maintain health-protective routines.

Our Program Goals:

  1. Optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV by assisting participants in improving their performance on biological, psychological, and social Cofactors that can impact health.
  2. Reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV by assisting participants in reducing HIV transmission risk behaviors and other health-risking behaviors.

Is L.I.F.E. Effective?
Clinical program evaluation of shows that L.I.F.E. participants:

  • Reduce overall health problems (by 27-44%) and overall personal problems (by 38-50%);
  • Decrease drug/alcohol use and other health risking behaviors;
  • Increase adherence to HIV treatment and other health routines;
  • Increase the amount and quality of trusted support in their lives; and
  • Improve coping with grief, depression, and Survival Stress.

Through L.I.F.E.’s innovative and effective learning methods and group processes, L.I.F.E. participants improve their health outcomes in as few as 12 weeks.

How L.I.F.E. Works
L.I.F.E., which stands for Learning Immune Function Enhancement, is based on scientific research that connects our performance on certain biological, psychological, and social Cofactors, to immune system functioning, disease progression, and overall health. These Cofactors have been shown in HIV disease and other life-threatening illnesses to trigger symptom onset, speed up or slow down disease progression, and impact survival time. Cofactors have also been shown to impact physical, social, and psychological aspects of quality of life. When people living with HIV/AIDS or other illnesses understand the dynamic relationship between mind and body, and improve their performance on certain Cofactors, then they may benefit from improved physical and psychological health and well-being.

Cofactors to HIV+ Health and Wellness
A Cofactor is a life issue that can impact health. Research shows Cofactors can slow down (HIV, cancer, or Hepatitis C) disease progression; help to reverse existing disease symptoms or AIDS-related conditions; enhance immune system functioning; increase adherence to health routines including medication/treatment protocols used to treat disease or symptoms; and improve one’s ability and willingness to choose health-supporting behaviors over health-risking behaviors.

L.I.F.E. participants explore their performance on 26 Cofactors and receive the knowledge, motivation, skills, and support necessary to set and reach goals related to their Cofactor performance and health. By increasing health-supporting Cofactor performance and reducing or eliminating health-risking Cofactor performance, participants can greatly increase their potential to develop and maintain wellness.

For more about Shanti’s Life Program, check out their Web Site.

In Fort Lauderdale, the LIFE Program is provided by the PALS Project.  Get Started with LIFE today!

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