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Support Group...seeking advice

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I went to the clinic where I was tested/diagnosed yesterday and talked with the director about a "newly diagnosed" support group.  You see, when I received my diagnosis, I asked about such a thing and was told it didn't really exist here in Milwaukee.  He was going to try to put me in touch with someone who was fairly new, but that never came to fruition.  Luckily I had a couple of other people here, and then all of you guys to get support from.

I want this to be an ALL-INCLUSIVE group, than as people see their needs changing, they can move on to something different.

That said, the clinic director kind of put the skids on my idea.  He said he would rather see a support network than a group.  So, when he gets a new diagnosis, he can put them in touch with someone that they can talk to about "stuff".  I don't see that this is a bad idea at all, but I still like the support group idea as well.

Of course, this topic has been around here recently.  Am I just completely naive or stupid, or something?  I understand that different "groups" have different needs, but at the time of diagnosis are the needs really that different from one person or group of people to the next.  In my mind, the majority of the questions will be the same..."What should I expect next?", "What do the labs mean?", etc, etc.  Or just an ear to listen to the "I'm scareds"  Very much like what happens here only in a face to face format.  Is that so wrong???

So, the seeking advice portion comes now.  If I can't get the support of this clinic director, how can I get this started and is it feasible?  I don't want to slap flyers up on telephone know what I mean?  Of course different states an municipalities have their own rules, but does one typically need any type of licenses or permits to do such a thing.  It's not a business venture, just a "get together"

I just want to do something.

Thanks all.


Oh, and I'm going to start volunteering at this clinic as well.  I have a medical background, so they want to put me through the state training to do STD testing, run labs, blah, blah, blah.  I'm going this Wednesday night for an outreach testing "thingy".  It's a start.

I think its a great idea... Being newly diagnosed myself (6-20-06) there are lots of questions I have that only someone who has been dealing with this 4 a while can answer but at the same time I think it would be refreshing 2 talk 2 someone who is going Thur what I am at the same time. It's like AA.  When going 2 meetings u learn from those who have gone before u but have a tendency 2 bond with and understand most people who have the same time of sobriety as U.  I hope that makes sense. 
Good Topic Shane

I think it's a great idea (and I also the clinic director is a jerk)!  While I understand the concept of "support network" I know that I would never call one person to discuss new labs, fears, anxiety, symptom concerns, etc.  I just hate the idea of intruding into some else's fragile existence to deal with "my" problems.  However, knowing that there was a group with whom I could meet every week or two would be ideal in that I could address these issues with a wider group of people and then get differing opinions.

Hey,slap those flyers on the sides of  buildings.  What the hell...!  Would the clinic director give you space to hold the meetings? chris

I attended a support group for newly diagnosed. I was involved for about 18 months or so.  I found it very helpful. When I was first diagnosed I tried to reach out to two poz friends. I was ridiculed by both of them. I no longer speak to them. I had a "support network," friends, a great doctor, therapist,etc., but I felt that I needed to talk to people like me, people who had contracted this thing recently. Not only was it an informative experience, it was also a safe place where I could say anything. I met some really great guys, still in contact with a few.  I highly recommend it.

Did he nix the idea outright, or perhaps is it a matter of putting together a proposal of sorts to help sell the idea to him?  Support groups are really common, so I'm suprised he would be against it.  Did he have reasons why he doesn't support a support group?  Plus why would it be a concern of his anyway?  He's not the one using the service, his patients are, perhaps they should have some say in the type of support they receive? 

It would be helpful to have the clinic's backing so that newly diagnosed (or transfers) would be referred to the support group.  Alternatively, you could seek out another HIV organization and see if they will help you.



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