AHF Receives Generous Grant from S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund
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$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 firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Business Wire 2009
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