Archive for March, 2014

Call Your City Councilmember NOW to Stop Cuts to HIV Programs


ACTION ALERT: Call Your City Councilmember Now to Stop Cuts to HIV Programs
March 26, 2014

The City of Los Angeles AIDS Coordinator’s Office is facing a funding gap that could disrupt or kill irreplaceable HIV prevention services. Contact the Mayor and your City Councilmember today and ask them to find a solution.

As the Los Angeles Times recently reported, the Federal government has changed the guidelines for the way cities like Los Angeles use money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), resulting in sudden cuts to HIV services that the city has funded for years. We need the City Council to immediately come up with replacement funding to ensure that these vital services continue without interruption.

These programs support an array of innovative HIV prevention activites in Los Angeles: HIV testing at targeted sites; health education including APLA’s Red Circle Project, the only outreach program for our local Native American population; syringe exchange and disposal programs that have no other source of support in part because of a federal funding ban on needle exchange programs. These are proven strategies that target some of our most vulnerable populations and are part of a critical public health network that reduces the burden of HIV throughout our city.

Beginning next week, the City of Los Angeles AIDS Coordinator’s Office will have no funding for these programs for the next three months. If these programs can survive, they face a severe 43% budget reduction when they return. We need funding to cover those services for the next three months while we work to save these irreplaceable public health programs.

Both Mayor Garcetti and City Councilmembers have expressed their support for these programs  the time is now for us to work together to avert this public health crisis.

Act Now

  • Look up your Councilmember’s contact information.
  • Call or email them to express your concern about pending HIV prevention budget cuts.
  • Suggested message when you call/email:
    • As a constituent, I am calling to ask my Councilmember to stand up and support our city’s HIV prevention programs.
    • I recently learned that the city plans to stop funding HIV services for three months starting next week, and that after that there may only be limited funding available for the next year. These programs are critical to our efforts to end the AIDS epidemic and improve our community’s health. 
    • A gap in services could be have serious consequences – and costs – for our city. It would take $260,000 to cover this 3 month gap, stopping just ONE new HIV infection will save us $385,200 in treatment costs. 
    • This HIV funding crisis gives the council the opportunity to show the country what makes this city great – and to continue our proud history of standing up for people with HIV and AIDS.

Take action now. Thank you!

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AIDS Project Los Angeles
611 South Kingsley Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90005

ACTION ALERT: 7 days until all City HIV prevention funding is stopped. PLEASE ACT NOW.


Over the past couple of weeks people have been asking what they can do about the LA City budget cuts to HIV programs.  One thing you can do is call your council members and encourage them to stand up and support HIV programs.  Below find a sample script you can use when making the calls. Attached please find a fact sheet andtranscribed quotes from the council members last Monday’s budget meeting.

A group of us will be visiting council offices on Thursday to drop off information and let them know in person that we care about these cuts.  Please let us know if you’d like to join us.

7 days

Call Your LA City Councilmember & Housing Committee members: 7 days until Los Angeles stops funding HIV programs

The Federal government is changing the guidelines for the way cities like Los Angeles use money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Those changes are resulting in sudden cuts to HIV services that the city has funded using money from HUD. We need City Council to immediately come up with replacement funding to ensure that these vital services continue without interruption. These programs provide HIV testing, health education, many efforts to reach people who inject drugs including outreach, syringe disposal, overdose prevention & naloxone distribution.
These programs are part of a critical public health network that reduces the burden of HIV throughout our city. These prevention programs use evidence-based public health strategies to work with populations most impacted by HIV.

(Last Tuesday’s LA Times article)

Please stand with these programs and let your council members know how important they are. We encourage you to use social media to promote this call to action to help amplify the message and encourage others to connect with their council members as well.

We are also asking that you also contact the chair and members of the Housing Committee. This committee oversees the funding stream that currently funds HIV services in the City of Los Angeles. (contact info below)

Phone calls

Call your Councilmember’s office and Councilmember Cedillo who is the Chair of the Housing Committee. We want to acknowledge the on-going support provided by City Council for these programs while also register the urgent need to bridge the funding gap. Be courteous and respectful! Keep in mind that the staff person answering the telephone is more likely to accurately record your message if you speak to them respectfully.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is ________, and I am a constituent/ a resident/ an HIV service provider/ a consumer of HIV services/ a mom/ whatever you’d like to identify as.

I learned (cite the LA Times article if that helps) that the city plans to stop funding HIV services for 3 months starting next week, and that after that there may only be 57% of the funding needed for the next year.

I am calling to ask the Councilmember to stand up and support our city’s HIV prevention programs.  I care about these programs because they help reduce HIV and improve my/ our community’s health.

(**only if you want to get more detailed about how: We urgently need the city to transfer the programs from Federal Funding streams to the City Budget, because a gap in services could be have serious consequences.  We know we can prevent HIV infections – our city supports effective, science based prevention programs that need to continue their work to keep this epidemic at bay.)

A gap in services could be have serious consequences – and costs – for our city. It would take $260,000 to cover this 3 month gap, but only ONE new HIV infection will cost $385,200 to treat.

This HIV funding crisis gives the council the opportunity to show the country what makes this city great – to show the kind of leadership the council has shown before and continue our proud history of standing up for people with HIV and AIDS.

Contact info:

Look up your city council member & their contact info

Housing Committee Members:

  • Chair – Gilbert Cedillo
  • Felipe Fuentes
  • Herb Wesson Jr.
  • Joe Buscaino
  • Curren Price Jr.

Online Support Group needs facilitator (LCSW or Psychologist)

Hello Colleagues,

Is anyone interested and/or do you know someone who may be interested in conducting this group for the Laurel Foundation?  a licensed Psychologist would be ok for them as well.

PS:  Even though the position is unpaid, remember it is only one day a month


We are in need of a California licensed Social Worker, who can volunteer their time once a month (day is flexible) from 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM to facilitate a video online support group.  The group is composed of five English-speaking mothers who are either HIV+ or have children who are HIV+.

We are looking for a commitment of one year.  So there would be 12 sessions (summer months and in December we usually do not have a session due to holidays etc.). The Laurel Foundation will do all the backend work (make sure all parents are reminded of the call) and be on call should any issues (technical or otherwise) arise.

Please have anyone who is interested contact Cheria Young (The Laurel Foundation’s Associate Director) at or call the office at 626-683-0800.


Thank you.

Margot Anderson

Founder / CEO

HIV/AIDS changes lives. So does The Laurel Foundation.

The Laurel Foundation

75 South Grand Avenue

Pasadena, CA 91105

Tel.  (626) 683-0800

Fax.  (626) 683-0890


13 days until 100% of LA City funded HIV prevention programs are cut

On April 1

there will be no City funding

for any HIV prevention & education programs for 3 months.

After that, they may decide to only pay for 57% of what they need to keep services as they are now.
FOR BACKGROUND please go to the HIV Drug & Alcohol Task Force’s HIV Community Planning forum and scroll down to see all of the related posts, including links to video from the City Council’s Emergency Budget meeting

 please circulate these graphics far and wide.

follow the HIV DATF’s forum,  #citycutshivcountdown #HIVcountdown on twitter, and LA Community Health Project on fb


City Council needs to use Community Development Block Grant Funds &/or General Funds to cover the 3 month gap in services and to make up the remaining 43% needed to keep these programs funded in FY 2014/2015.

Tell your Councilmember: We can’t afford these cuts!

Here’s what will happen if they don’t cover the gap:

  • 7,500 fewer HIV tests will take place
  • No place to collect used syringes in many LA communities like Hollywood & Pico Union
  • 290,813 used syringes ACO programs would have taken in, will have nowhere to go
  • 38 jobs created in LA communities served by these programs will be at risk – for many this will mean layoffs
  • 175 Veterans will be cut off from HIV prevention services – condoms, health education, testing
  • 2,200 who regularly use needle exchange programs would have to leave the city to get help
  • 600 people at high risk of HIV transmission, who are met in their communities by outreach workers will be left in the cold
HIV is very expensive to treat 
CA Department of Public Health estimates lifetime costs of $385,200 for each new infection

13-days-512x512.jpg DOWNLOAD

03/17/14: Special Budget Meeting | show up to save HIV prevention funding

Protest HIV Prevention Cuts

What is happening to HIV prevention in Los Angeles?

I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but a letter was sent out to prevention programs yesterday around 10am. I’ve attached it to the post linked below.

Can you please help get the word out about this ASAP? And if anyone is interested in organizing a community response, please let me know. 


National Social Work Month Begins March 1!

National Social Work Month Begins March 1!


The nation’s largest group of social workers, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), begins its month-long celebration of the profession in March.

Social workers in hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, non-profit and government social service agencies, community centers, corporations, think tanks, elected offices, and numerous private practices will work to remind the public why they joined the profession in a campaign called “All People Matter.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work continues to be a fast-growing occupation in the United States.  More than 600,000 social work college graduates hold social work positions, and an additional 130,000 people are employed as community and social service managers.

As the country addresses issues of growing income inequality, educational achievement gaps, health care disparities, mental health access, and improved veterans support, social workers in communities across the nation are raising awareness about critical family needs and social injustice.

“I’m proud to belong to a profession that recognizes that all people matter,” says NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. “The field of social work requires its members to put the ideals of citizenship into action every day.”

To recognize all the ways social workers make a difference, and how they help turn public attention to complex social issues that affect millions of lives, the 2014 Social Work Month campaign will highlight some of the profession’s most accomplished authors, educators, researchers and practice leaders through its 1,000 Experts initiative.

More details about social work contributions on topics ranging from domestic violence, foster care and depression to addictions, chronic illness and senior caregiving can be found or

 Social workers are also invited to tell their stories online this month using the hashtags #allpeoplematter and #socialworkmonth.

03/12/14: meeting reminder and agenda

This is a reminder that our monthly meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 12th at 9:30am at the Village [1125 N. McCadden Place, LA, 90038.]

Here is the agenda:

MHA Recovery Oriented Practice 3 Day Trainings 2014

tay-recoveryMHA Recovery Oriented Practice 3 Day Trainings 2014 (Formerly Public Immersion Trainings)

This 3-Day Training will help anyone serving adults or transition aged youth (ages 18 – 25) who are in recovery from a mental illness to:

  1. Create—meaningful relationships with the people you serve;
  2. Play—to your strengths and learn to help members find theirs;
  3. Get your hands dirty— our trainings utilize group activities, interactive exercises and self-reflective tools to help inspire your work as a recovery oriented practitioner.


Click on image to download 


Training Dates:

  • April 7 – 9, 2014
  • May 5 – 7, 2014
  • June 9 – 11, 2014


Training Topics Include:

  • Recovery Philosophy
  • Hope & Empowerment
  • Principle Guided Decision Making
  • Self-Responsibility
  • Integrating Health Care
  • Meaningful Roles
  • For the Love of Learning


Registration is FREE for LACDMH clinics & contract providers.

This training offers 18 Continuing Education Units for LCSWs, MFTs and RNs

MHA Recovery Oriented Practice Immersion trainings are offered once a month, September through June, at MHA Village in Long Beach To register, please visit or you may contact Kristina Esquivel at or 562-285-1330, ext. 335

HIV Rate Is Four Times Higher Among Mental Health Patients

HIV Rate Is Four Times Higher Among Mental Health Patients


People receiving care for mental health problems are four times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population, and many are unaware of their status, revealing a key demographic for targeted HIV screening programs. Publishing their findings in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers provided rapid HIV testing to 1,061 people who sought treatment for depression, psychosis or substance abuse in Philadelphia and Baltimore between January 2009 and August 2011.

A total of 51 people tested positive for HIV. The 4.8 percent prevalence rate is four times higher than the rate for each respective city and about 16 times higher than the U.S. prevalence rate. Thirteen of those who had a positive test result, or 26 percent, were not previously aware they had HIV.  >>> FULL ARTICLE

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