It’s 1986. You are 19 … or 23 … maybe 30, and you’re told to get your affairs in order because you’ve only got a few months to live. Friends and loved ones are dying all around you. Memorial services are a weekly event. The obituary pages stretch on and on. You are scared to death. You can’t tell your family. But no one is supposed to die this young.
Somehow, you survive. Through years of sickness, loss and despair, waiting for the next infection – expecting that proverbial “next shoe to drop” – you hope for some treatment or cure. Ten years pass, and finally effective medications are available. There are lots of side-effects … but FINALLY something works.
This is part of the back-story for many of the patients we see on a daily basis. Now, our patients and client may not be dying of HIV anymore, but issues of stigma, isolation, loneliness, financial woes, medical problems, and an unclear path forward impact many of them.