Have you thought about joining an HIV support group or were you a member of one in the past?
Consider the benefits of joining:
- It helps individuals feel they are not alone
- If family or friends are not empathetic to your situation, a support group provides a safe and confidential place for discussion
- Support group is a great source of education and resources
- It provides social interaction
- Joining a group may help you learn coping strategies as you listen to other participants
- You can choose an area to work on and receive beneficial feedback from members
- There is continued availability
- Support groups are often free to attend or accept a nominal fee such as $5.00 to cover refreshments
- Support groups can help with decision making in regard to treatment options
Usually, there are two types of group sessions: open and closed
Open groups: you can join at any time
Closed groups: there are a set number of weeks with a specific objective for the group to work on, so once group starts, new members can’t join until the next open date
How to find an HIV support group near you:
Start by reaching out to your local AIDS Service Organization (ASO) and ask if they host support groups. Even if they don’t, they may know another organization that does.
To find your local AIDS Service Organization just Google those words followed by the town you live in.
In some areas, especially more urban areas, there are support groups for the partners or caregivers of those living with HIV, which offer much of the same benefits as HIV support groups.
In North Central Pennsylvania, Caring Communities hosts HIV support groups for our case managed clients living in Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Sullivan, and Tioga counties.
While we are not currently funded to provide support groups in our NE region counties, we are working to secure funding for them in the future.
Caring Communities’ open HIV support groups currently meet every other week:
Caring Communities’ open support groups are held in various locations, and we’re always looking for client interest to start more.
We encourage anyone living with HIV/AIDS in our service area to consider coming to one of the HIV support groups. We can provide transportation to and from the meetings. We also offer light refreshments. Our support groups are FREE to attend and OPEN, which means new attendees are always welcome and there is no requirement to keep attending.
We would love to see you there!
For more information, please call Tracy Fromm at: 570-931-6276 or contact your Caring Communities case manager. Anyone interested in becoming a client of our agency should call 570-829-2700 option 1 and speak with Alison Berger or Jacob Beach.