Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus and disease are often referred to together as HIV/AIDS, however having HIV does not mean that you have AIDS. A person is diagnosed with AIDS when either the numbers of specific types of cells in their immune system drop below a certain level or when they develop one of a specific group of opportunistic infections. Although treatments for HIV/AIDS can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or HIV vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the deaths and new infections from HIV/AIDS, and new research is continuously under way in this area. Thanks to global improvements in antiretroviral drugs and AIDS therapy, many infected people can sustain a normal lifestyle. However, due to the continued difficulty in treating HIV, prevention is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic. We hope this list of resources will help educate your family and friends about safe sex, needle-exchange programs and treatment plans all of which help to slow the spread of the virus.
AIDS.ORG provides easy and fast access to AIDS information. They provide prevention, testing, and treatment information currently to well over 4 million people a year. AIDS.ORG has been awarded the “Health on the Net Foundation” Code of Conduct (HONcode) seal for reliability and credibility of information in the field of healthcare.
AIDS.gov The official government website concerning AIDS awareness, education and research
NAM National AIDS Manual. A great place to get up to date figures about the AIDS epidemic.
Los Angeles County STD Program (publichealth.lacounty.gov/dhsp/STDClinics.htm)
L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center Offers HIV care, testing, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and preventitive support groups ( https://lalgbtcenter.org/health-services/hiv-related-services)
National Clean Needle Exchanges (NASEN) (http://www.nasen.org/programs/)
Center for Disease Control (CDC) (www.cdc.gov/hiv/default.htm)
Government Prevention Programs aids.gov/federal-resources/hiv-aids-programs/prevention-programs/
AIDS Project Los Angeles (http://www.apla.org/)
Offers bilingual benefits and insurance counseling, case management, education and training, dental services, home health care assistance, public advocacy, mental health services, food pantries, print publications, housing services and work services in Los Angeles County. (En Espanol: (http://www.apla.org/espanol/))
Aid For AIDS (http://www.aidforaids.net/)
Provides the basic necessities of life to men, women, children and families living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County through a safety net of essential housing and direct supportive services.
National AIDS Housing Coalition
Provides access to food banks, housing opportunities, counseling, and access to information about support-groups nation wide.
AIDSMEDS Forums (http://www.actupny.org/)
A round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.
Shanti Organization (http://www.shanti.org/pages/about-hiv-services.html)
Shanti has been at the forefront of a growing national movement to enhance the quality of life for persons living with life-threatening or chronic illnesses by providing volunteer-based emotional and practical support.
COMMUNICATING ABOUT HIV/AIDS (HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS AND LOVED ONES)
L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center