In reading "Can San Francisco become the First AIDS-Free City," (source: The Advocate, March 4th, 2014)
this Mental Health and HIV/AIDS Advocate had one thought after reading. What ever city claims the fame of being an AIDS free city first mat hat is off to them and all others that follow.
With, "18 million people have a serious mental illness. A reasonable estimate suggests that about 720,000 are LGBT," I ask, better I demand that services shift to that of our serious mental health GLBT Community. (Source: Reducing Stigma and Discrimination among People who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, March 12, 2008 SAMHSA).
(Source: More Than Just Blue, BY Benjamin Ryan September 22, 2010)
In New York City's Callen-Lorde sixth floor has a wait list for their HIV/AIDS clients with chronic mental health diagnoses, dual-diagnosed a new facility is set to open this Spring. Gay Men's Health Crisis is also applying for full mental health counseling license, "It means less support for mental health and substance abuse to deal with the very issues that were part of that reason that they are living with HIV and AIDS. - (Source: Where Has All the HIV Funding Gone?, Janet Weinberg Chief Operating Officer, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, August 9, 2013)
I"m late in the game, dual diagnosing HIV+ and Bipolar in 1996, I'm thankful for ACT UP what they did for this country, and for Dan Pallotta and the AIDS rides and walks since. When is the GLBT community going to be writing checks for their brother and sisters who are diagnosed with a chronic mental health diagnoses, one agency, first in it's country of which I'm a member is the Rainbow Heights Club located in Brooklyn, when I moved to New York City in 2001 dual diagnosed with HIV there was nothing anywhere in the city, let alone in the United States.
When we have our first AIDS free city again I demand that services shift to those of us dual diagnosed, living longer do to medications and those of us who are not diagnosed HIV+ as with new HIV prevention, one that includes mental health screenings and integrated health care between patient, providers and mental health clinicians and Therapist, then yes I can see a city that is AIDS free.
If you have a substance abuse problem, are having periods of uncontrollable sex, unsafe sex do two things, 1. have an HIV/AIDS test and while there ask for a screening nurse and 2, ask for a mental health screening.
For a comprehensive list of services around the country visit my website, the link at the top of my blog.
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration
Mental Health (dot) Gov,
AIDS (dot) Gov.
Depression Bipolar Support Alliance
National Alliance on Mental Illness GLBT Page