APLA Health provides essential services and COVID-19 certainly adds a layer of stress to everything we do. We are fortunate to be in a position to help those who need us most, including uninsured individuals, Black and Latinx communities, and people with underlying health conditions.
While our services were dramatically reduced earlier this year, we have been gradually reopening thanks to our supporters and pure grit. We were able to begin providing medical services with telehealth, which now makes up about one third of our medical visits.
Telehealth is here to stay for a certain percentage of our services and APLA Health is working to get as close to “normal” as we can.
There is still more work needed to be done in a COVID-19 world, but we know that with your help we’ll be able to meet that challenge.
As you probably know, the risk of contracting COVID-19 increases with age and the presence of underlying health conditions. Of the 60,000 people living with HIV in LA County, 45% are over the age of 50, which is poised to increase to 72% by 2025. The bottom line is that this community is more likely to suffer from other infectious or communicable diseases and conditions that may be exacerbated by HIV.
To serve this population, APLA Health created HIVE (HIV-Elders). HIVE engages people living with HIV over the age of 50 through a combination of relevant community education, life skills workshops, customized case management, and social events.
By keeping older PLWH engaged and connected to the community, we also help them stay connected to important healthcare and other services.
While HIVE has suspended live events, we are hosting a virtual gathering every Friday, as well as a weekly Netflix group movie night.
Help us continue to provide vital Support services like HIVE with your support during AIDS Walk 2020.
HIV has been classified as a chronic disease since 1996, but many people still see it as a death sentence that only affects certain people. Breaking these preconceived notions takes time, and APLA Health has been working to destroy HIV stigmas for over 37 years.
Creating a dialogue is crucial for fighting stigma, and we’ve created programs that allow for culturally relevant conversations. Not only do we have our Healthy Him and Trans Connection programs, but our providers undergo multiple trainings and attend multiple conferences every year to stay up to date on the latest information on managing HIV.
If we can educate more people on the realities of living with HIV – and that it’s not the death sentence it’s been stigmatized to be – we hope that more people will get tested, learn about prevention, volunteer or simply be advocates for people living with HIV by sharing what they know with others.
As part of the Education Walk at AIDS Walk 2020, you’re spreading awareness and de-stigmatizing HIV. Thank you!