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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

CALIFORNIA: AIDS Group Brings Awareness to Occupy SF




 

Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco) (11.17.11) - Wednesday,

Three groups recently visited the Occupy San Francisco encampment to raise awareness about homelessness among people with HIV/AIDS and LGBT youth. AIDS Housing Alliance/San Francisco, St. James Infirmary and Homonomi joined forces for the Veterans' Day event, which included HIV testing, needle exchange, and a brown bag lunch for attendees.

San Francisco has the highest rate of homelessness for people with HIV/AIDS, said Brian Basinger, AHA/SF's director. The groups hope to meet Mayor Ed Lee and urge him to end homelessness for PWAs, sex workers, and LGBT youth within four years.

While turnout was a bit less than organizers expected, Basinger was confident his message was heard. The gathering also commemorated the decade-long ARC/AIDS Vigil of 1985-1995, in which people with HIV/AIDS and allies continually camped out at San Francisco's UN Plaza demanding recognition and federal HIV/AIDS research funding.

Housing should be first priority among support services, Basinger said. Currently, housing help for San Franciscans with HIV/AIDS is provided through the Department of Public Health, but an individual's consideration for support is linked to registration at a city clinic, he said. Some AHA/SF clients do not want treatment or such registration, he said.

"We have to build on what started and furthermore implement a true vision of housing first in San Francisco," Basinger said. AHA/SF works to protect and secure new housing and promote public policy expanding such opportunities, he said. The integrated model includes affordable housing referrals, emergency financial assistance with back-rent and move-in deposits, rent subsidies, tenant-rights counseling, landlord mediation, a legal services collaborative, and financial literacy education.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in November 23, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.