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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AIDS Life Cycle 2014, I Highly Recommend you do this event at least Once

A must see video about the event

The history of AIDS Life Cycle the 7 day, 545 mile event which I first cycled in 2007 was the reason I started my website  The rides prior all less the 150 cyclist I wasn't connecting with other like myself who were dual diagnosed.   AIDS life cycle or ALC with it's over 3.000 cyclist the odds of me finding others who were dual diagnosed.  Today I just arrived at one of my newest and oldest friends whom I met that very first year, Virgil Parrett.   Thanks to Virgil and several others I'm able to afford participating as they host me in their homes.

I've come a long way since the my first year of cycling, today I'm a consumer advocate, educator, certified peer specialist for both mental health and HIV since 2004.  Today my recoveries plural are in check, I owe a great deal to all folks I've met along the way since I was diagnosed, the long bumpy road was not an easy one, it was very hard due to my not fitting in from the bipolar diagnoses.

So here I am again, just off my flight from Newark, friends out doing errands and me well. I wanted to share with you all the history of my participation on AIDS life cycle once again, this my sixth year.

Thanks to everyone who donated, I left New Jersey this morning, turned on my cell and during my flight another $150 was donated.  If you wish to support me with a tax deductible donation please click here ---------->

Thank You

Previous Post on my AIDS Life Cycle experience.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wearing Red and Green, One Year Later

                                                       BP Magazine  Photo by Peter Johnansky

On May 8th I wrote about May being Mental health awareness month please read.

Last year I published my Op-Ed title Wearing Red and Green, this is my first year anniversary of that article and the start of my newly created red and green ribbon that identifies both HIV/AIDS and mental health.

I'd like to reprint source that article here now, and ask that you wear a red and green ribbon, thank you.

Dual Diagnosed HIV+ and Bipolar, wear a Red & Green Ribbon during May

Celebrate both HIV/AIDS and Mental Health 
Awareness each May by wearing a 
Red and Green Ribbon

Reprint from
May 3rd, 2013
Wearing Red and Green
by Stephen Puibello

An HIV-positive advocate reminds us about the need for mental health services.

Stephen Puibello
Stephen Puibello
Everyone knows that wearing a red ribbon is a sign of support for people living with HIV, and millions around the globe come together every year to raise awareness about the disease on World AIDS Day, December 1. Less well-known is the green ribbon, which supports people living with mental illness, and has its own observance each May, which is Mental Health Month. Both celebrations raise awareness, help to combat stigma, and raise funds for the populations they honor. Whether you attribute it to my brain chemistry or my Italian heritage, both the red and the green colors of the ribbons and the Italian flag apply to me.

My story begins in 1996, when I lost my mom to breast cancer and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with HIV, and then with bipolar disorder. I went through a very dark time—add substance use to the list of challenges—but managed to climb out of the abyss. I put myself on the road to recovery by seeking therapy, finding the right medications, and serving as an advocate and support to others going through similar experiences.

In the process, I realized that I am not alone. Researchers estimate that as many as 40 to 60 percent of the HIV-positive population will experience depression at some point. That's right—half. Another study looked at 200 adults living with HIV and found that 15 percent had bipolar disorder. And whether you are HIV positive, have a mental illness or both, it's quite likely you have a substance use problem as well; data shows that if you have a mental illness, your chance of having a substance use disorder also is as high as 50 percent. Any one of these issues can be incredibly difficult to manage—now imagine having two of them, or worse, all three. Talk about stigma.

Sadly, though, services for these disorders are often siloed. Many providers treat one or the other, but rarely do you see a brochure about mental health treatment in the waiting room where you get your HIV meds, or vice versa. There are bright spots, such as Positive Impact in Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that recently celebrated 20 years in fighting HIV by promoting mental health. Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, recently received full licensing and now offers long-term mental health services for their HIV clients; the demand is so high, there's already a wait list to get in. But when have you seen an AIDS and mental health ride, or an AIDS and mental health walk? When these disorders pile up, it can be incredibly isolating—and failing to address them together makes that road to recovery a long one that is oftentimes rocky.

But it is a road that can inspire others. This year is special for me, as I was named a Voice Awards Fellow by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). I am spending 2013 telling my story and spreading the message that if you face one or more of these struggles, you are not alone. If you have HIV and find yourself depressed, don't wait—talk to your health care provider so you can get the help you need. Visit my site at and check out the resources I've compiled to help. You have to be just as proactive about your mental health treatment as you are in caring for your HIV.

Last, look for the courage to tell your story, whenever you can. The more we talk about the fact that HIV, mental illness, and substance use co-occur, the better the chance that service providers will ask the right questions and offer the right treatment. Hopefully we can chip away at the stigma that piles up as well. This May, you can help—by wearing a green ribbon and a red one too, side by side.

Stephen Puibello is an HIV/AIDS and mental health advocate. Go to for more information

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

"For 65 years, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have led the observance of May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings. The 2014 May is Mental Health Month theme is “Mind Your Health.” Our goals are to build public recognition about the importance of mental health to overall health and wellness; inform people of the ways that the mind and body interact with each other; and provide tips and tools for taking positive actions to protect mental health and promote whole health." (source: Mental Health America)

For more information on Mind Your Health - Mental Health Month - May 2014 click here

Additional Resources:

Facts on Mental Illness

In The News:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Awareness I got covered, Fundraising is Where I Need Your Help

Since 2004 I've been both raising awareness and funds around my own dual diagnoses HIV and mental health.  My website is a testament of the work I do writing blogs, public speaking on my bumpy road to recovery. Last year I was awarded the POZ Magazine Unsung Heroes award, last year I was also awarded the SAMHSA Voice Awards Fellowship.  It's nice to be recognized for my work. 
Last month I started speaking to providers about HIV, mental health and substance abuse and my bumpy road to recovery.  I'd like to share one of my recent testimonials with you all and ask after reading to please support me with a donation.   Thank You.

I'd like to share one of my recent testimonials, as I recently presented at GMHC
Stephen has dedicated his life to staying healthy and modeling good health for body and soul  Some people would be unable to get past the devastation when diagnosed with two very serious illnesses. Stephen meets his health issues head on and wants others to be able to do so as well. He is now working to help providers understand the road to health that has changed his life.

Janet Weinberg  Interim  Chief Executive Officer/COO/GMHC

To support me as I participate on my sixth AIDS Life Cycle event
click on the link:
Thank you very Much

Mental Health and HIV in the News Briefs

Meadows Foundation gives $300,000 to Resource Center’s capital campaign

 "The gift will go toward building a community center at Inwood and Cedar Springs that will allow Resource Center to expand its mental health counseling program and its services for youth, families and seniors. With $5.6 million raised, groundbreaking for the community center is scheduled for January.

The center’s programs are geared toward Dallas’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
The center will consolidate its long-running programs for people living with HIV/AIDS into the existing community center building, which will be renovated. More
(source:  Dallas News Business  May 1, 2014


NYU Steinhardt researchers to study why male millennials risk HIV transmission

"The number of new HIV infections in the United States had remained steady in recent years, but rates among urban millennial gay, bisexual, and other young men who have sex with men (YMSM) have steadily increased in the past decade"  More 

(source: April 28, 2014)

UMKC researchers get $3.2M to assess churches' role in HIV testing

"The grant, which comes from the National Institute of Mental Health, expands a program called Taking it to the Pews. There are about 30 churches in Kansas City and 12 in Montgomery, Ala., using the program. The grant will expand its scope into a full-scale clinical trial."  More
(source: Kansas City Business Journal, April 30, 2014)

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