C.A.R.E. Program Offers New Support Group and Educational Forums

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New Support Group and Educational ForumThe C.A.R.E. Program at St. Mary Medical Center is offering a new meet up group for HIV-positive individuals 29 and under. “An HIV diagnosis can come to people at any age and from all walks of life,” reminds Michael Buitron, the C.A.R.E. Program’s intake and outreach specialist, “But for younger folks who are just starting out and making long term plans, HIV can impact school, career plans, or the ability to establish and sustain new relationships.”

Long Beach Real Time Positives (RT+s) is an opportunity for people under 30 to meet others like themselves—maybe a little further along or just finding out. It’s a safe and accepting place to make new friends, gain some insight, and share what you know. The group meets at 5:30 every Wednesday at the Parr Building on St. Mary’s campus, and food and drinks are served. For more information, call Buitron at (562) 624-4977.

One member who recently graduated from college was already dealing with the anxiety of looking for work and taking the first steps on a new career path when he tested positive. When asked if it made him reassess his path he wrote, “You’re right about the thinking of goals and long term plans. I’ve been dealing with that even prior to finding out I was positive. Now that I know I’m positive, it adds more anxiety and stress to my thinking and planning. Sometimes I feel at a loss for words because I don’t know how to think or react to what’s going on. This is all very new to me and I’m somewhat scared and overwhelmed of what’s to come and how to deal with it.”

The Real Time Positives, a meet up for 29 and under HIV positives are Wednesday evenings at 5:30at The Parr Health Enhancement Center, 2nd floor 1055 Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813. For additional information Michael Buitron at (562) 624-4977 or visit http://www.careprogram.org.

In addition to emotional support, the C.A.R.E. Program has partnered with The Center-Long Beach, and the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services to offer free monthly HIV educational forums. The monthly forums will cover topics such as HIV basics, understanding lab work, nutrition, and newly available treatments.

The forums are held at the Parr Health Enhancement Center, 1055 Linden Avenue, 2nd floor in Long Beach, and dinner is served. To reserve a space, call Carlos Campa at the Long Beach Health Department at (562) 570-4544 or email Carlos.Campa@longbeach.gov.

Monthly HIV Educational Forums:

HIV Basics and Treatment Initiation
Thursday, October 13th, 5:00 pm
The Parr Health Enhancement Center, 2nd floor
1055 Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813
Contact: Carlos Campa at (562) 570-4544
Email: Carlos.Campa@longbeach.gov

Complera, the New One-Pill-a-Day Regimen
Thursday, November 17th, 5:00 pm
The Parr Health Enhancement Center, 2nd floor
1055 Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813
Contact: Carlos Campa at (562) 570-4544
Email: Carlos.Campa@LongBeach.gov

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