We are powerfulbecause we havesurvived
Wellness services are at the core of Being Alive’s programs.
Acupuncture and chiropractic care provide ongoing treatment options to enhance clients’ existing HIV antiretroviral treatment. Weekly appointments by fully supervised practitioners in training provide ongoing pain relief and treatment of HIV-associated conditions such as neuropathy.
The Facial Rejuvenation Program, now in its 14th year, is run by Dr. R. Cohen, an area cosmetic surgeon, who has volunteered his time every Tuesday since the program’s inception. Patients receive the Sculptra product for free or low cost through a patient assistance program and Being Alive provides all other necessary items for treatment.
Peer Services encompasses all other referral services including ADAP enrollment. When clients call, come in, or email needing information or referrals, they are linked to a staff member with the expertise to manage the request. Whether it is information about medications or other treatment options, questions about sexually transmitted infections, requests for legal referrals, or any other in a wide range of questions, callers are assisted. Using both interns and volunteers, calls are answered by a “live” person and are then directed to the appropriate staff.
For 36 years, Being Alive has provided exceptional peer-to-peer support.
Whether recently diagnosed or a long-term survivor, or anyone in between, Being Alive has a support group to help. Though several support groups are peer-led, one is facilitated by a trained staff member, and some are therapist-led.
Being Alive is proud to have one of the only support groups in the area for HIV+ women, called Queen Bees. Other groups include Friday Night Lite – a group open to anyone wishing to make uplifting connections, and a CMA Meeting that shares our space, though it has been virtual during the pandemic.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) provides co-pay assistance for HIV and related medications for HIV+ people who may be uninsured or underinsured, providing they fall within the income range of <138% of Federal Poverty Level to <500%. This program can also provide full medical/dental/vision for those who may be self-employed or gig-economy workers.
Other programs through ADAP include access to PrEP, a program to cover supplemental or Medi-gap insurance for those on Medicare, and an employer-based program that covers payroll deductions for HIV+ people who have a high share of cost from employers’ insurance programs. This program guarantees access to medications and helps ensure people remain in care and virally suppressed. Four of the six staff members are certified ADAP enrollment workers with the California Department of Public Health which funds this program. As an open enrollment site, any person, regardless of client status, can receive same day assistance.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program
Although connecting HIV+ clients and bringing them out of isolation has long been a part of Being Alive’s programming, it is even more vital as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Being Alive clients and a guest can participate in numerous events throughout the year.
Social & Recreational Activities
At the long-operating ceramics studio behind Specs Appeal at 7976 Santa Monica Blvd., clients can express themselves through clay modeling and sculpting, throw their own pots or bowls on the potter’s wheel, paint objects with handmade glazes, and fire (cure) their work in a new kiln which was purchased using money from a special fundraiser. The ceramics studio is open every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (including holidays) throughout the year – weather permitting.
Clients have access to free tickets to many events annually, including concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, LA Ballet, Outfest, and Geffen Playhouse. These tickets are provided at minimal cost through special community outreach programs. Other notable social/recreational activities are the much-anticipated field trips. Clients are provided a box lunch and are whisked away to such locations as the Huntington Gardens and Library, Point Fermin/Point Vicente Lighthouses, the Getty Villa, the Getty Museum, Dockweiler Beach, and other locations within Los Angeles County. A trip to the new Academy Museum is on the docket for later this season. During the pandemic, virtual educational field trips were taken to China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Paris, El Salvador, and Kansas. Another beloved event held annually is the Being Alive Holiday Party that brings together many clients, friends, staff, and board members to celebrate another year of service and gratitude. Other past activities that are expected to return include Taco Tuesday, a poetry workshop, a writing group, a gardening class, cooking demonstrations, and more.
Not only are these events fun, but they also bring people together, broaden their horizons, establish new personal connections, and transport clients to another time and place through music, art, local beauty, and new friendships.
Being Alive offers trainee and associate level counselors extensively trained in HIV for Psychotherapy to our clients.
The trainees and associates are supervised by licensed, experienced supervisors who closely monitor progress and maintain standards set by the State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Our goal is to help clients to cope and understand feelings, effects of medications, stigmatization, guilt, thoughts and behaviors. Please contact Becky at 323-874-4322 to make appointments.
Being Alive’s mental health psychotherapy counseling program is provided by appointment. Therapists are extensively trained in HIV and are also LGBTQIA+ affirmative. Therapists are Masters-level student trainees and post-graduate interns who offer Being Alive clients the opportunity to address a wide range of life’s stresses and psychological problems including but certainly not limited to living with HIV.
Our mental health program is provided through a joint association between Being Alive and several local universities master’s in clinical psychology programs. Our therapists receive supplemental training in HIV and LGBTQIA+ Affirmative psychotherapeutic clinical skills. This gives our therapists a full understanding of the complexities of dealing with HIV as part of the mental health component for our members, making Being Alive’s psychotherapy program a most unique opportunity for those living with HIV. The mental health program collaboratively partners with all other Being Alive services including emotional peer support, treatment education, prevention, advocacy, wellness and social services.
Being Alive strives for a “no-waiting list” goal in psychotherapy, along with same-day crisis management emergency intakes whenever possible. This has garnered Being Alive with tremendous amount of praise and respect from our community HIV care partners. Clients are carefully assessed and prioritized on an on-going basis. We carefully match clients with our therapists for better outcomes. Therapists may use a variety of psychotherapy theoretical modalities.
Every client is treated respectfully and without judgment. Clients’ wellness is our primary concern throughout their journey. Being Alive empowers our client-members on a pathway to wellness.
To schedule an intake or for more information, please contact Becky Hardin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In order to keep clients moving toward optimal wellness, it is important to keep them informed of current treatments, updated information on the impact of HIV to the body and aging process, and stay current with advances in research toward a cure.
To achieve this, we host presentations that are provided by various pharmaceutical companies which provide lunch or dinner for participants and always have informative medical professionals. Some events are planned and executed by Being Alive, including an annual update from the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, where the agency covers internally or through outside grants.