Archive for the ‘PALS Project’ Category

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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