AHF Receives Generous Grant from S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund

Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:59pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

$10,000 Grant Will Fund AIDS Healthcare Foundation`s Educational Support Group
Program Designed to Improve Health Outcomes for Those Living with HIV/AIDS
LOS ANGELES--(Business Wire)--
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is pleased to announce that it has received a
generous grant in the amount of $10,000 from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund,
which is managed by the Orange County Community Foundation, located in Irvine,
CA. This grant is now funding AHF`s Educational Support Group Program, a unique
program that motivates clients through providing in-depth HIV information and
education, self-efficacy skill building, encouraging peer support and medication
adherence support. 

HIV education and support are critical components of improved health outcomes
for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. In 2003, AHF began to offer weekly HIV
education and support group meetings to meet these needs. Each week
presentations are given by AHF own staff members and visiting presenters on
different topics relevant to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Previous topics have
included HIV and Minority Populations, What`s New in HIV, Adherence Tools,
Medication Side Effect Management, HIV Knowledge and Stress Management. The last
meeting of each month is reserved as an open forum for group members to discuss
topics personally interesting and important to them. These open forum groups are
facilitated by the Program Manager, Paul Prosser, and Rachel Naylor, an AHF
medical social worker. 

"AIDS Healthcare Foundation is very grateful to the S.L. Gimbel Foundation for
its ongoing support of our successful Adherence Support Group program," said
Paul Prosser, Program Manager. "In just the first six months of this year, over
fifty clients have attended the weekly sessions, for a combined 300 hours of HIV
Education. Clients have increased their knowledge on subjects such as HIV and
the Heart, International HIV and Neurological issues related to HIV. These
sessions assist our clients in maintaining adherence to complex medication
regimens, but also to assist each other in dealing with the multitude of issues
related to aging with HIV." 

Many clients attending the weekly meetings are concurrently enrolled in AHF`s
Success Through Anti Retroviral Therapy (START) program, an intensive counseling
program for clients struggling with medication adherence in medical outpatient
settings. START represents the only intensive education and counseling program
for treatment adherence within the context of specialized HIV medical care in
Los Angeles. 

Nearly all of the clients referred to the HIV Educational Support Group Program
are having difficulty adhering to life saving medications which has affected
their health. An assessment of the 2008 program showed a significant improvement
in group member`s viral loads (of under 400), higher CD4 levels as well as
significantly fewer missed appointments with their medical provider and improved
follow up with medical and dental care. 

Mr. Prosser added: "For some of our homeless clients, these groups give them a
nourishing meal along with social support. As HIV medications have improved and
it has become more of a chronic disease, many foundations have stopped funding
subsidiary services, it is important to realize that our clients needs have not
gone away and in some cases, as they age, have actually increased. The S.L.
Gimbel Foundation is to be congratulated on their outreach efforts." 

The support provided by the S.L. Gimbel Foundation is allowing the Educational
Support Group Program to expand its speaker base and provide valuable
information and instruction to program participants on topics including
nutrition, estate planning, CPR training, oral hygiene and meditation
techniques. Having representatives from agencies outside of AHF give
presentations at the weekly support group meetings will allow the program to
continue its success at increasing positive health outcomes for its members and
attract new members to the group. 

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US` largest non-profit HIV/AIDS
healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. AHF currently provides
treatment, care and support services to more than 100,000 individuals in 21
countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia.
Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org. 

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Lori Yeghiayan
Assoc. Dir. of Communications
323-860-5227 office, 323-377-4312 cell

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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