Every part of Positive Force, each part of our program, has a specific goal. But they all help the guys who join, who may feel disconnected for one reason or another, be connected to a community. And that’s what inspires me to do the work that I do.
PLUS is primarily for guys who have been newly diagnosed with HIV or those who are newly dealing with their status. It’s a peer-led program, so I—and the other staff and volunteers—are able to tell people first-hand about our experiences living with HIV. We’re able to show people that it doesn’t have to be a scary thing to come out and live openly with HIV.
Before people can fully engage with their HIV care—take their medications and focus on getting virally suppressed—they oftentimes need help with things like housing or substance use. So we help guys during one-on-one wellness sessions figure out what they want to work on, and get connected to the kinds of services and care that they need. It’s amazing to see how this stable source of support—during times of transition and change—can really cause their health to blossom.
We also organize twice-monthly The Dr. is In sessions so that our clients can get relevant, up-to-date information about living well with HIV. They are primarily educational events, but we always encourage our clients to use them as a chance to get together with their friends and as a social and community event.
To really get our clients to come together and build friendships with each other, we organize Urban Adventures. We’ve had some really fun ones like an improv night and white water rafting. For guys who maybe can’t afford to do these types of activities on their own, or don’t have the opportunity to travel outside the city, our events are a way for them to learn something new and experience something outside of their comfort zone.
Join the men of Positive Force at one of our upcoming events!