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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Social Inclusion at it's Best

Good morning riders!!! Good morning roadies!!!

I first got involved with AIDS Life Cycle in 2007, I had cycled similar events in that you register to participate as a cyclist or roadie or crew member to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, more importantly for the millions, this year alone ALC 12 raised an amazing 14.2 million dollars, thanks to all who supported me this year with a donation and thanks to everyone who supported your friends and loved ones.   

This year we collectively set new records, and one that I noticed in camp each night were the stories shared about the services provided by both the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.  Both provide services for folks living with HIV/AIDS, one in particular is mental health services at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

This year I was I was one of the stories shared under the big tent. Lorri L. Jean spoke about a participant (me) who is back for his forth ride and that I am dual diagnosed HIV+ as well as Bipolar and that this year I was awarded the the SAMHSA 2012-13 Voice Award Fellowship , thank you Lorri L. Jean again.  I caught up with Lorri Jean at the end of the ride and asked if there's anything I could add to my message and her reply, "you are doing it, that HIV+ individuals talk to their providers,"  if they are feeling depressed as possible this depression could be that of a chronic condition.  For more on the latest statistics around HIV and mental health please read my recent Op-Ed that was in POZ magazine titled Wearing Red & Green.

The title of this post is Social Inclusion at it's Best , if there was an award for social inclusion, AIDS life Cycle, would deserve five stars.  What the organizers of this event do each year, is pure magic and all I can say is you need to participate in order to experience it and come home with the feeling that I'm part of something that touched my life, something that you will cherish your entire life.  Here's a sampling:

If you are diagnosed HIV+ and wish to get involved as a cyclist please visit Positive Pedalers, today with over 1000+ and growing Pos Ped's continues it's mission, "Eliminating stigma through our positive public example”

For more information about all the services provided at both , please visit there websites"

For a comprehensive list of GLBT Centers that provide HIV services as well as GLBT affirmative mental health services, visit my, then visit my resources page.

AIDS Life Cycle in the Media:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

HIV and Depression

So what's the importance of a brochure you may find in the waiting room while you wait to see your HIV specialist and if necessary while you are waiting to see Psychotherapist and Psychiatrist .

From my home page  you will read that not so far back 2004, you couldn't find brochures discussing the two.  It wasn't until 2005 - 2011 that more and more scientific studies were being published. 

One quote also from my homepage, "Dr. Glenn J. Treisman, MD, Ph.D., who is Director of the AIDS Psychiatry services at John Hopkins Hospital estimates that at any given time 1 in 5 HIV'ers is suffering from a major depression and require psychiatric treatment." (HIV Plus Magazine March/April 2009).

So what does that mean for you?  Well possible you been diagnosed HIV, like any diagnoses like Cancer or some other illness where you became depressed.  Depression is a natural experience, but long periods of depression is not, possible you are like me, 1 out oft he 5 HIV'ers suffering from a major depression that requires psychiatric treatment, why to get better, to go on living a productive life, to be able to return to work, even if it's a part-time job as you may require going on Social Security Disability Insurance because you are overwhelmed, or experience side effects from your medications.  Some of these are sleepiness, unable to focus long periods, there are many others (please check the resources at the bottom of this blog entry) that make it hard for you to work a full time job, but you can work part-time, another topic down the road.

So if you are reading this, you are not alone, it's not just you and that means others are out there and in GLBT community, that there are resources that can help you both at a doctors office, and in the form of self-help, peer to peer support groups. 
Please visit my website which lists 49 centers through out  the United States where you can get assistance, also visit the the home page for some valuable links.

IF YOU FEELING SUICIDAL CALL 911, I did, there is no shame, I'm here to tell you this and to tell you that it does get better.

Get involved, one organization which I've been on the GLBT Leadership Group as a Consumer Advocate.  Consumer = Someone like yourself living with an illness in recovery.  Advocate = an activist, some one who is pro-active in helping others by blogging, sharing my experiences, so that again I can't say it enough you are not alone.

Other Resouces:

living well with HIV and Depression , reliable up to date treatment news    "The Trevor Project is the leading national
organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth."  National Association on Mental Illness, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Mental Health Resources page.

Tip of the day

Now two hours of sunlight left, this blogger like to ride his bike, take a bottle of water and get some excerise.  Go for a walk--find that boring, help an elderly neighbor and offer to walk to the grocery store for her--turn it into both exercise and a good deed, from the heart that's X two feel good and good for you..