PATF will be closed on Sunday, May 28th, and Monday, May 29th for Memorial Day.

Being diagnosed with HIV can be an overwhelming experience. It is often accompanied by extreme emotions like anger, confusion, sadness, embarrassment, and depression, as well as shock, disbelief, and fear. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone and that this is not the end, but the beginning of a new way of living. The sooner you know and the sooner you are in care the better. Connecting with care and medications as soon as possible can bring the amount of virus in your body to an undetectable (very low level), which allows you to be healthier longer and less likely to spread the infection to others.

Being diagnosed with HIV presents many challenges. What follows are the first steps in an ever evolving process. This list will be updated as information becomes available. A PATF medical case manager is available to help walk you through the process and be there for you every step of the way. We may also be able to pair you with an HIV Mentor. A mentor is someone who has been HIV positive for a while and can help you answer questions and provide support in the early days of dealing with this diagnosis. Call 412-345-7456 for an appointment.

1. Identify your support network:

  • Tell someone you trust:  It helps having a family member or friend there in the very beginning for support. Read more
  • Consider support groups. There are many supports groups available in the region. Read more
  • Listen to others stories. Read more
  • Educate yourself. It's good to ask "how did I become positive?" in order to avoid re-infection or spreading the virus to others. Read more
  • Tell your sexual and/or drug partner(s) your status. Read more

2. Get in care:

  • Connect with an HIV specialist. A good place to start would be The Positive Health Clinic or the Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment 
  • Psychological health: Mental health is important for maintaining whole body health. Talk to a PATF medical case manager about your options.
  • Choose a pharmacy: There are programs to help you afford your HIV medications. Many pharmacies can even mail your medications to you. Talk to a PATF medical case manager about your options.
  • Alerting health care professionals (dentist, primary care physician, etc) to your HIV status is very important, but be aware that not all professionals are equipped or willing to deal with an HIV-positive patient.
  • Whole health. Let a PATF medical case manager help you identify your needs. Read more
    • Housing
    • Food 
    • Transportation 

3. Understand "prevention for positives"/re-infection/different strains. Read more

4. Know your rights: Talk with the PATF Pro Bono Legal Network Coordinator with any questions you have.  Read more

  • Legal services
  • Disability issues
  • Discrimination laws

Remember, you can live a full, healthy, productive, and happy life while being HIV-positive. The key is to keep a positive outlook, follow your doctor's care instructions, lead a healthier lifestyle, and take your medications as directed consistently. HIV can be managed very successfully, especially if found early and treated immediately, and is a lifelong commitment. 

It is a lot to take in at first, but you can do this. Let us help you get the care you need and learn the skills needed to manage HIV. Call 412-345-7456 to speak with a medical case manager today.

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Hours:

Testing Hours:
Sun: Noon – 3:30 p.m.
Mon-Tue, Thu - Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

 

Food Pantry Hours*:
Sun: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Mon, Tues, Thu: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Wed: 3:00-7:00 p.m.

 

The food pantry is closed on Friday and Saturdays.

 

*Clients may use the food pantry once per month; Clients who are overdue for their 90-day updates will not be able to use the Food Pantry on Wednesday after 4 p.m., or on Sundays

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