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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September HIV and Mental Health NEWS


"Slowly but Surely, Gay Conversion Therapy Is Coming Out of Mental Health Practices"  source: Autostraddle.  "



  "Depression among HIV positive people worrying " source: NTV News Uganda 

 


"Should Gays and Lesbians Seek Different Therapists Than Straight Patients?"   source: takepart.com



Depression among people infected with HIV  is on the rise in the country.  As it rises, so do new infections as the depressed do not use condoms, neither do they take their drugs which in turn leads to a rise in drug resistance. To the team from an ongoing research project dubbed INDEPTH Uganda including the Ministry of Health, there's need to worry because almost half of the people in the country living with HIV are depressed with many needing treatment yet integration of mental health care with HIV is still very low in the country. - See more at: http://www.ntvuganda.co.ug/news/lifestyle/23/sep/2014/depression-among-hiv-positive-people-worrying#sthash.zoexwJlG.dpuf

 


Depression among people infected with HIV  is on the rise in the country.  As it rises, so do new infections as the depressed do not use condoms, neither do they take their drugs which in turn leads to a rise in drug resistance. To the team from an ongoing research project dubbed INDEPTH Uganda including the Ministry of Health, there's need to worry because almost half of the people in the country living with HIV are depressed with many needing treatment yet integration of mental health care with HIV is still very low in the country. - See more at: http://www.ntvuganda.co.ug/news/lifestyle/23/sep/2014/depression-among-hiv-positive-people-worrying#sthash.zoexwJlG.dpuf
Depression among people infected with HIV  is on the rise in the country.  As it rises, so do new infections as the depressed do not use condoms, neither do they take their drugs which in turn leads to a rise in drug resistance. To the team from an ongoing research project dubbed INDEPTH Uganda including the Ministry of Health, there's need to worry because almost half of the people in the country living with HIV are depressed with many needing treatment yet integration of mental health care with HIV is still very low in the country. - See more at: http://www.ntvuganda.co.ug/news/lifestyle/23/sep/2014/depression-among-hiv-positive-people-worrying#sthash.zoexwJlG.dpuf


 

  




Monday, September 22, 2014

Physician Assisted Suicide, Aging with HIV and Chronic Mental Illness, My Choice

My Choice



In 2015, 50 % of those living with HIV/AIDS will be 50 years and older, by 2020 that number will be 70%. For others, the one in five who live with a chronic mental illness and HIV, we may or may not live that long due to aging, other illnesses and social isolation so severe you often contemplate taking your own life., but rather then doing that, I feel strongly that Physician Assisted Suicide be made legal in the United States, it is, but not all states. 

Friday September 19, 2014

It was lovely night this past Friday in Manhattan, rather then leaving the city for my bus ride home, I did what so many others did, I went out to enjoy the warm evening as soon fall/winter and cooler/colder evenings will be knocking at our doors.

I went to the Highline, sat there and couple after couple gay and straight walked by and I'm strong enough to get out alone, but for what ever reason that night I just started to cry, natural when something troubles you, causes pain.

I'm working hard on this, have been since I lost my dad, my closest friend Ed Holle last February. I meet people, amazing people in talking they share I have a partner who is Bipolar, or I have a partner who lives with HIV and the partner not living with either of these. I thank them as I know how hard it is and I have hope when I hear of these relationships knowing that someday I may have a companion.

I know that love comes at any age, I know that I'm not the only single only bipolar and HIV+ person on the planet, but these adversities make it very hard. I can't do anything but accept this, but now comes age, and sickness and fear of dying alone and it's that one thing that has me wanting to not do it in pain, in a hospital but rather peacefully with the knowledge of my doctor or Physician Assisted Suicide

Am I a weak person for wanting this, not at all. When it comes, it will be somewhere where I can watch sunsets and sit by a campfire at night,, it will involve hiking and friends who wish to join me and their pets, It will be both sad and joyful, what it won't be is alone and in pain.



Resources: 

" Interest in physician-assisted suicide among ambulatory HIV-infected patients"  source: American Journal of PsychiatryAm J Psychiatry 1996;153:238-242.

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=171545


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_suicide_in_the_United_States




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Older HIV Infected Adults, Are we as a Community Prepared?




National HIV/AIDS and AGING AWARENESS DAY * SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

Aging: The New Challenge 

Source AIDS.gov

At the start of the epidemic, people who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS could expect to live only 1-2 years after that diagnosis. This meant that the issues of aging were not a major focus for people with HIV disease.
But new medications and treatments have changed that. Life expectancy for people with HIV disease has increased dramatically—which means that they now have to face the challenges of aging with HIV/AIDS.
Normal aging is associated with risks for many different conditions, from osteoporosis to heart disease, but having HIV can increase those risks. Some illnesses or conditions which can be worsened by aging and HIV (or treatments for it) include:
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Insulin resistance
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Infections
  • Medication interactions
**********************************************************
Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Older HIV Infected Adults, Are we as a Community Prepared?

What I'm not reading enough on or being talked about is mental health and substance abuse in older HIV infected adults.

 As a consumer on SSDI and living in a major metropolitan area my clinic Callen-Lorde has opened a new building to keep up with the demand for all with HIV/AIDS living with chronic mental health issues, I'm fortunate to have this, but as you get away from the bigger cities, these services are not readily available and if you find them many are not LGBT affirmative keeping many away from being properly diagnosed.  Thanks to local chapters of (NAMI) National Alliance on Mental Illness and (DBSA) Depression Bipolar Support Alliance the gap does have some resources.  In Brooklyn we are fortunate to have the only LGBT Outpatient facility in the nation called Rainbow Heights Club, we need a Rainbow Heights in each state, we need trained LGBT hospice care workers, our community at large to me has been dormant on the issue of mental illness in the gay community as a whole, so I'm hoping that the emphasis on HIV/AIDS and aging awareness now in it's 7th year, coupled by the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity Act we will see more long term mental health GLBT affirmative facilities in the existing AIDS service organizations pop up.



In the News today :


I did find one Op-Ed in the Advocate, a good read but with very little or should I say not once did I read the word mental illness, I did read, "Like other seniors, many older persons living with HIV also have other common diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Living with multiple health conditions can be very challenging both physically and emotionally."  And another mention, "When you couple that with the stigma that some older LGBT people face when they move into senior living communities, it can be a difficult psychological burden," for the entire article read here.





For more resources on  Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Older HIV Infected Adults:

HIV, Psychiatric Comorbidity, and Aging


Authors: 
Julia L. Skapik, BS, and Glenn J. Treisman, MD, PhD

Read complete article:
http://www.consultant360.com/articles/hiv-psychiatric-comorbidity-and-aging

Psychosocial, mental health, and behavioral issues of aging with HIV
http://www.natap.org/2014/HIVAGE/061614_02.htm


Psychosocial, mental health, and behavioral issues of aging with HIV  Rueda, Sergioa,b,c; Law, Stephanied; Rourke, Sean B.a,b,e

http://journals.lww.com/co-hivandaids/Abstract/2014/07000/Psychosocial,_mental_health,_and_behavioral_issues.7.aspx

 

Aging with HIV and AIDS: A growing social issue

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132443.htm

ASA, American Society on Aging (source)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Older HIV Infected Adults, by Lisa Cox


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Health, Home, Purpose and Community. I have all of that yet still feel isolated from my Queer Community

Health, Home, Purpose and Community
So why do I still feel isolated from my Queer Community


From SAMHSA's: Leading Change A plan for SAMHSA's roles and Actions 2011 - 2014.

"Recovery is a unique journey for each individual, and each person in recovery must choose the range of services and supports ranging from clinical treatment to peer services.   To facilitate resilience, recovery, and social inclusion, persons with mental health and substance abuse use disorders will also need to receive treatment for their co-occurring health problems.  Access to services must be paired with shared decision-making process between people in recovery and providers to determine how best to select, structure, and delivers services.  Like other aspects of health care and unless adjudicated by courts of law, people have the right to choose and determine what services and treatments best meet their needs and preferences.  Self-determination is the foundation of person-centered and consumer-driven recovery supports and systems, including such approaches as person-centered planning, shared decision making , and peer-operated services.  People in recovery should be meaningfully involved in all aspects of behavioral health services, including planning, policy development, training, delivery, administration, and research."

A mouthful for sure, but me me as a person with mental health and substance abuse use disorders while receiving treatment for my being HIV+, while being disabled I often question is my recovery 100% or half way or held back do to being on social security disability insurance that keeps me feeling isolated from my own queer community after following the goal of recovery that is exemplified through a life that includes:
  • Health----Overcoming or managing one's disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;
  • Home----A stable and safe place to live that that supports recovery;
  • Purpose----Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family, care taking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society; and
  •  Community----Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope. 
I've mastered all of these things, managing my health, through disability as both a bipolar and HIV+ aging gay man secured affordable housing.  Secured through volunteering a job in itself, to that of a part-time job thanks to social security who has a model that supports part-time employment  with hopes of full time employment, a joggling act in itself as you need the Medicare and Medicaid if you qualify to pay for health care expenses and medications that exceed some $56,000+ a year, most of that costly medications.  Then lastly as a gay man who's aging, soon to be 56 years old, shunned by my peers do to the combined multiple stigmas from within my own LGBT community who if I'm on disability, managing my health, have a home, then why is it so hard to find community, relationships, social networks, love and hope and friendship.

It's my GLBT community that causes me to struggle as I don't meet their expectations of someone who's not just housed and has purpose, but in their eyes living in poverty as the model keeps you in poverty to have all of these things and be fully recovered is where I'm at soon to be 56 years of age.

Much is written on disparities and poverty, low income and I will pick up on this topic  and look at what's being done for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community over all health and those of us living in the commmunity living with both substance abuse and behavioral health care and co-occurring  HIV+ diagnoses, all three each a hurdle in itself, combined I'm often told when out speaking, sharing my story what are you doing as a consumer of all of the above to survive.

If this is you, if you feel have followed an excellent model, one that I advocate for as well as advocate for treatment for both, and are aging and feeling isolated, I'd love to hear from you.

I also want to share with you a story that happened recently.  I ran into a friend, fellow HIV/AIDS cyclist from years ago, we exchanged our hello's and quick catching up when an articulate panhandler approached, this was on ninth avenue in Manhattan, 10:30 AM.  He showed us a $1 and said he was short $.50 cents of which both myself and my friend each had a quarter and gave to him.  He said thank you and then added, what' the best nation in the Country, I said not the United States, can it be France...his response was a donation.  That was both funny and for the short time this individual was talking to two others, he felt socially connected (social inclusion), not social exclusion.

Moral of this story, be safe, I know it's hard, but if you don't have change a simple hello, or acknowledgement that there is a person asking you will go a far way in his or her day.  And if you do, even a quarter or dime will help. Social inclusion, not social exclusion has to start somewhere.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 2014 HIV and Mental Healh in the News


With a Mandate for Change, a Longtime HIV/AIDS Leader Steps Up as Chief Officer for NYC's Massive Human Service Agency by (Julie "JD" Davids, theBody.com August 25, 2014)

Read More:

http://www.thebody.com/content/74898/with-a-mandate-for-change-a-longtime-hivaids-leade.html

"Tasked with managing all that HRA's 14,000 staff members do to provide direct services to New Yorkers, Tietz now oversees a broad range of programs, including Adult Protective Services; the HIV/AIDS Services Administration; Domestic Violence; Shelters and Services; Disaster Assistance and Crisis Management and Customized Assistance Services for public assistance recipients."

 

Opinion: Shining a light on mental illness (Robert T. Foster, Edmonton Journal

Read More::

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/Opinion+Shining+light+mental+illness/10137796/story.html

 "Almost five per cent of admissions to hospitals are related to mental health issues, including anxiety, bipolar disorders, major depressive disorders, low-grade depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), impulse control, eating disorders, substance abuse and suicidal behaviour. Such disorders comprise the second highest cost of running a hospital in Canada."

"Suicide is responsible for about 25 per cent of all deaths among 15- to 24-year-olds and 16 per cent among 25- to 44-year-olds. It’s one of the leading causes of death from adolescence to middle age"


With advances in HIV care, survivors face other disease risks  Contact: Connie Hughes Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348 Wolters Kluwer Health 

Read More:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-08/wkh-wai081314.php 

"Research and Planning to Meet Health Needs of People Living with HIV"

"Large-scale HIV treatment and prevention programs have substantially lowered the rates of HIV infection and deaths from HIV/AIDS. Dr Narayan and coauthors write, "Today, with over 35 million people living (and aging) with HIV and over two million becoming infected every year, we are faced with a new challenge: addressing morbidity and mortality from NCDs—heart disease, stroke, diabetes and metabolic complications, renal disease, cancers, liver disease, and mental illness—that increase with age and may be related to HIV and its treatment."

 

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Writing Relaxes Me, Helps me focus when feeling Manic



You would think someone with one website up 2twenty years that focused on writing letters lobbying for city services in Boston and a short Freelance writing gig with AOL-Digital City Boston, and then finally my other website up ten years this year, with blog posts 66 in two years would mean I am a perfect speller. I'm not, editing is for editors ....I miss having one, but I learned more important is if your content is right on, then that's all that matter and lastly -- Just write.

 Writing relaxes me, helps me focus when I'm manic.

I first started writing when I was 34 years old, in twenty two years I never hit spell check and got this pop-up seen in photo I snapped above.

The little things that make your day, the photo, the ease of pulling a topic together, it truly made my day as I try to keep to a blog post schedule.  The above was from an email I wrote, how cool is it when something good comes from something you were doing anyway.

Share your little thing here either today or this week after reading mine and share via the comment button.




RESOURCES:

How to Calm a Manic Episode 




Monday, August 18, 2014

Project Hope Exchange All in 30 Seconds


I'm committee Chair for HIV/AIDS fellow consumer/peers/friend.  My goal is to ask 20 + HIV+ men or women to leave a 30 second message of hope.  It's by first name only. 
Please help me by participating and sharing this post.


Thank You

More about Project Hope Exchange

At the core of Project Hope Exchange are two key components: a PHE Hope Line
(855-975-4673), through which adversity survivors can leave 30-second messages of
hope; and a searchable online repository of recorded messages at
ProjectHopeExchange.com.  

“We believe something especially powerful happens
when a survivor of a particular adversity speaks directly to someone currently battling
that same adversity,” said A2A Alliance founder and PHE co-creator Jeff Bell, “and
we’ve attempted to build an interactive, multimedia platform that makes that process as
easy as possible.”