Just Found Out? : Where can I go for support?

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Back to home » HIV 101 » Just Found Out?

Table of Contents

Just Found Out?

Why me?

Where can I go for support?

Will I die?

Who do I tell?

Who will want me?

What's happening to my body?

How do I get the care I need?

What lab tests should I take?

Will treatment work?

Will I start treatment?

HIV Clinics for Teens

What You're Talking About
Losing Hope (blog) (20 comments)

You Can't Hurry Love (14 comments)

I Watched Charlie Sheen on The Dr. Oz Show So You Don't Have To (blog) (14 comments)

Charlie Sheen S&%ts On 30 Years of AIDS Activism (blog) (13 comments)

Remember Their Names: World AIDS Day 2015 (blog) (12 comments)

Prudential to Offer Individual Life Insurance to People With HIV (7 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Where can I go for support?

Your first step as an HIV rookie may be turning to a local AIDS Service Organization (ASO). You can find one by:

1. Contacting your local or state health department or an HIV-testing center in the phone book or by calling information.

2. Pointing your browser to our AIDS Services Directory.

ASO’s can answer basic questions and hook you up with local, HIV-experienced doctors, therapists, support groups—as well as everything from hot meals to vital government services. You can call an ASO’s hotline, drop into a treatment information forum or get on an ASO’s newsletter mailing list.

Here are some other resources to consult while ramping up on your HIV knowledge, wrestling with your newbie questions and finding friends:

“My family’s great, but they’re not ever going to fully understand everything that I am going through. Talking to other people who are positive…wow there’s someone else who’s going through the same thing. I’m not alone.” —Jessica Whitney, Hagerstown, MD, Diagnosed: 2003


HIV/AIDS information from the Federal government about prevention, testing, treatment, research, programs, policies and resources.

Treatment info from HIVers across the pond, this UK-based site offers in-depth and cutting-edge treatment news, with a strong emphasis on global issues, too.

A clearly written, user-friendly guide to the basics of HIV science and treatment. Online discussions, too.

AIDS Treatment News
A classic source of treatment information, with a bracing mix of activism and community news from the master himself, John S James.

Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE)
Call our neighbors to the north for treatment fact sheets, healthcare newsletters with a holistic slant and the best in harm-reduction how-to for drug users.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The government’s main HIV office offers lots of information and resources. Call 800.342.2437 (800.344.7432 for help in Spanish). Or go to their website and check out their FAQs for those newly diagnosed.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
New York's GMHC is the oldest ASO in the USA, and no, they don't only deal with gay men. GMHC’s “Treatment News” is very useful.

AIDS InfoNet
This bilingual, fact-filled site from New Mexico features veteran HIVer activist Bob Munk's essential "Living With HIV."

Well, you're here, so we don't need to give you the URL! One way to find out more about a particular topic is to search back issues of POZ magazine (in print since 1994!). And consider joining POZ Mentor and POZ Personals if you haven’t already. You can order POZ publications by calling 800.973.2376.
Project Inform
Marty Delaney's San Fran powerhouse for treatment and activism issues, plus a great “Introductory Packet” for the newly diagnosed.


“It came at a time I was considering leaving my job and taking a job that doesn’t provide insurance. The insurance aspect is now limiting my choices. I’m stuck staying in corporate America whether I like it or not.” —Bobby Z., Chicago, Diagnosed: 2005


The Access Project
The Access Project is a fantastic clearing-house of info on the three programs that cough up pills for no cost to the patient:
Patient Assistance Programs Pharmaceutical companies going that extra mile to get meds to HIVers without public or private insurance.
AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPS) Underinsured or uninsured? You may be eligible for state-paid meds. Get 'em while funding lasts. A waiting list exists in some states.
Expanded Early Access Programs In case you ever need a new treatment option.  Most companies offer early access to promising drugs prior to FDA approval. But restrictions may apply. And you may be taking a drug whose long-term safety isn’t guaranteed.


ACT UP New York

ACT UP Philadelphia

The two most active chapters of the old-school direct-action protest groups.

AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC)
A national organization of treatment activists who share ideas, attend conferences and work together to improve access to treatment.

Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA)
877-EndAIDS (1.877.363.2437)
This coalition of AIDS activists and ASOs has a 21 point-plan to end AIDS. Spearheaded by the New York-based Housing Works, C2EA is sponsor of the October 2005 March to End AIDS.

Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)
212.966.0466 x1206
Unites people with HIV and activists to build a movement to fight unjust and inaccurate HIV prevention policies and other AIDS issues.

National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA)
An organization of HIVers doin' it for themselves since 1983, NAPWA offers how-to programs in community and youth leadership, managed care, public policy and more. They organize National HIV Testing Day.


This subdivision of the American Civil Liberties Union brings lawsuits and lobbies elected officials to protect the civil liberties of HIVers.

The Center for HIV Law and Policy
A legal and policy resource bank that addresses HIV discrimination and the legal needs of those living with the virus.

LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund
Fired or banned because of HIV? Lambda's trailblazing HIV Project can hook you up with an attorney or advocate.


POZ Personals
Over 60,000 online members seeking love and companionship. Registration is free.
“I’ve told guys and they say, ‘Oh, I’ll be back in a minute’ and just up and left. You never know a person’s story. You don’t know how accepting they may be. You just have to take your time getting to know somebody. It’s harder for us.” —Jessica Whitney, Hagerstown, MD, Diagnosed: 2003


Harm Reduction Coalition
212.213.6376 or 510.444.6969
The national clearinghouse on harm reduction does straight-up advocacy and education for syringe-users.


AIDS In Prison Project
718.378.7022 (call collect Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 3-8pm EST)
A national hotline that answers all questions pertaining to incarcerated HIVers.

Fortune Society
Positive prisoners contact the LifeWork Program for peer support, access to services and prevention info.


Black AIDS Institute
This national policy center mobilizes black organizations and issues policy papers on HIV among African-Americans.

Latino Commission on AIDS
An organization of HIV health care and education advocates focusing on issues in the Latino community.

National Minority AIDS Council
This DC stalwart serves up everything from scholarships and conferences to job-search tips and community-building training.


The Well Project
Information and resources specifically for HIV positive women.

Women Alive
Covers the waterfront of education, inspiration and support for women with HIV.

Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Disease (WORLD)
Advocacy, referrals and retreats for HIV-positive women. Services include Perinatal Peer Advocacy and the Latina Initiative.


HIV Wisdom for Older Women
Provides support for older women living with HIV and fights the misperception that they don’t get the virus. Jane Fowler presides.

National Association on HIV Over Fifty
A membership organization that fights ageism in the HIV community and the shortage of HIV services for seniors. NAHOF also seeks to educate older adults about the risk of getting HIV.

“I knew a lot about AIDS before. I used to be in a youth program and was a peer educator. It made it so much easier. I didn’t feel it was the end. I knew the last thing I needed to do was panic.” —Andres Huertas, Bronx, NY, Diagnosed: 2005


Advocates for Youth
This site offers a directory of HIV youth groups and peer educators to answer your questions by e-mail and offer straight talk about HIV, STDs, safer sex and clinical trials. Also check out this list of teen-friendly clinics around the country.

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