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Author Topic: Experience with support groups?  (Read 7830 times)

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Offline med forum

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Experience with support groups?
« on: February 23, 2007, 06:37:11 AM »
Hi all

What is everyone's experience with support groups? If you have never been involved in one,
what was the reason? Were you able to find one that met your needs for being supportive
for your loved one? I am curious as to how many people have had the opportunity to become involved
in the area where they live......

I live in Chicago and feel like it's really difficult to find a group or support system for those
of us who have loved ones who are pos.....after searching for many months, I have been lucky
enough to find one....yes.....only one! It's been frustrating. Is the demand just not there?  :-\

What do you think?
Peace & health

Offline Ann

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007, 12:25:31 PM »
There is a friends and family support group in Liverpool and they seem to be pretty happy with it, although I think most of them mainly use the group as a point of contact and keep in touch outside the group.

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Offline mjmel

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 07:05:05 AM »
med forum,
Are you looking for yourself or a loved one? Does the group you found not meet your needs? Are you looking for something hetero or homo in particular?

Offline healthiepoz

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2007, 09:19:53 AM »
One, I would think in a large Metro area there would be several options available.

Though recently, it's been stated by our group-leader that their doesn't seem too be too many interested in a group these day's. Gather their just too much information available on line and the need just isn't their.

I beg too differ. I believe we need support greatly as anyone in society... gathering together, sharing common interest, treatment options, and alternatives as well.

I do find it rather sad, that outside the group most dont' keep intouch, or ventrue out together too do things in life. Though that maybe attributed to the fact that were just being productive members of society.. living longer, and keeping healthy..

I'd check with local outreach org. hospitals, and Dr. offices.. county, state, offices to see what options maybe available in your area...

Starting a support group is rather simple too do if interested.. just make it know, where you'd like to meet, and make it a safe place. Make sure individuals go through a screening process, are poz. or in need of support.. again healthcare org., mental health org., and H.I.V. / A.I.D.s org. can make suggestions as well. Hope this has been helpful for you... Enjoy, and happy hunting...


Offline Jody

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007, 09:03:43 PM »
When I first began to go to my support group back in late 1995 I was very wet behind the ears regarding living with HIV...The men there took me under their wings, several in particular, and I learned about how to live with and deal with something that is not my whole life but a very important aspect of it, like it or not.

I learned about treatment options, getting insurance, dealing with doctors and generally how to cope...We discussed anything and everything and often went to movies, shows, restaurants, etc.

Today I am the senior member of the same group and am often asked to speak first to new members (Many have stayed, some got scared away ::)

Going the first time is of course very difficult as you wonder if you will fit in, what will it be like, etc...But going back a second time is equally difficult as you wonder - What impression did I make, was I liked, do the guys really want me to come back???

Chances are you will do just fine, be accepted and if you're lucky maybe you will even get bitten  ;D  Just go and DO IT !!!  Life with HIV is not something to experience all by your lonesome.

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
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Offline med forum

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 09:05:25 AM »

Yeah I know....You'd think that in a big city like Chicago there would be more than just one group
geared towards those who have loved ones who are pos. Believe me, I am a ltittle bit frustrated because I feel like there really aren't any resources available to someone like me. I really didn't think it would be so difficult.
I mean, I know I'm not the first person nor the last to want to get involved in a group like this.

The only one I have been successful in finding is at the Howard Brown Center that lasts four weeks.

I just think that right now the whole idea of serodiscordant couples is still kinda relatively "new" and the support groups need to grow wings in order to really take off. I wish to be a part of that!

Thanks for all your suggestions and help! I appreciate it!    :)
Peace & health

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 09:51:13 AM »
I went to my first "structured" (meaning it was a closed group once it began) support group within my first six months of diagnosis in '93 though Body Positive in NYC which I believe is now defunct.  I recall most others in the group remarking that it was unusual to see someone enroll in a group so soon after diagnosis, and it was true that I was the most recently diagnosed in the group, and for sure I was the youngest (28).  I was rather shy about speaking much in the group, mostly because I didn't have but so much to share and was just there to listen.  Wasn't much I could contribute at that point.  I still found it useful and faithfully attended.  I forget how long it went on for -- it was probably a six month group or something.

I don't recall there being much outside socializing, though I know one weekend I did go out to some guy's place in the Hamptons for the weekend.  We didn't really maintain the friendship past that though.

It was probably another 7 years until I went back to support groups.  There are, however, a lot of resources in NYC for this or there were at the time.

Currently I'm in a very small, once monthly, group for treatment experienced that are on the current fuzeon/prezista combo and have been going since June.  I wouldn't be surprised if this begins fizzling soon, and might already be in the process of doing so as the last few meetings have been quite sparse though the group was tiny to begin with.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Trixie

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2007, 01:07:17 PM »
I have had the same problem in Atlanta. There are hardly any support groups actively meeting and none that really welcome the hetero HIV- partner of the infected person. I find I have to look online for any questions and support I might need. It is somewhat disheartening because I find I need support more - now than ever - as my partner's health wanes.

I am thankful for the boards and support I find here however. Bless you all for being there when I need you!

Offline PJC0510

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2007, 08:37:07 PM »
I do not have experience with a support group, I am dealing with it pretty good so far.   I live in Rogers Park in Chicago and I know that a Church here has a support group. 

Have you checked any churches in your area?  if you wish to email me, my email is rppoz65@yahoo.com .

Good Luck!
I may never beat HIV, but then again, it will NEVER beat me!

Offline med forum

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 05:42:57 AM »
I am going to my first support group meeting tomorrow night.....I hope that it will be a good experience......
Peace & health

Offline SASA39

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 01:56:26 PM »

but try anyway , maybe a better luck for you................
12. Oct`06.  CD4=58 %  VL not issued
25.Dec.`06.         203     VL= 0
25.Dec`06.- 19.Oct`16 :
various ups & downs- mostly ups - from 58-916 and back in #CD and few blips in VL.
19.Oct`16     CD4=644      VL=0

Offline Peter6836

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Re: Experience with support groups?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 03:37:49 PM »
This has been the best support group I have found. I have been to many. People that constantly go to support groups seem to be obsessed. To me any way. I prefer positive people. I have met some wonderful people and they have become my own support group.


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