Testing positive for HIV can be a scary, isolating experience, but you should never be expected to go it alone. Your HIV is manageable, and when you have a medical, emotional and systemic support system in place, you can look forward to a full, happy life for both yourself and any future partners you may have.
At Allies for Health + Wellbeing, we provide comprehensive resources for anyone who is living with HIV. If you are living with HIV, you can access a range of services to help you with everything from understanding your diagnosis to making sure you get enough to eat. Your trust is extremely important to us, and your experience at Allies will always be compassionate, friendly, and judgment-free.
Allies HIV support services are usually free and always confidential. If you’re ready to get the support you need to start living the life you deserve, don’t wait. Schedule your first appointment with us today!
At Allies for Health + Wellbeing, we make getting started with our HIV support services as easy as possible. Once you schedule your first appointment with us, you’ll go through a simple intake process with our team. When that’s done you’ll be eligible for all of the following services:
Allies provides all of these HIV support services to those who are living with HIV and who reside in the following Pennsylvania counties:
To verify your eligibility, just give us a call at 412-252-1553 or our toll free number 1-888-204-8821 and ask to speak to the Intake Case Manager, who will help you determine if you qualify. You will need the following documentation to verify your eligibility:
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is a virus that weakens the body’s defense (immune) system until it can no longer fight off illnesses, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, cancerous tumors and others. HIV attacks CD4 cells (T cells), which direct the body’s immune system to defend against infection. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment.
While some report cold or flu-like symptoms, many people infected with HIV show no symptoms at all. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your status is important because it helps you make healthy decisions to prevent getting or transmitting HIV. HIV affects everyone differently.
A person is considered to have AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) when HIV seriously damages the immune system. In the U.S., an HIV-infected person receives a diagnosis of AIDS when his or her CD4 count is less than 200 or if diagnosed with a specific illness. (An average CD4 cell count in a healthy person is 1,150.)
There is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but there are effective treatments for managing HIV. With proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Treatment for HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, ART can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS (the last stage of HIV infection) in a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.
It’s very important to remember that you cannot get HIV simply from making contact with a person who is living with HIV. You cannot get HIV from a person living with HIV by working together, playing sports, shaking hands, hugging, closed-mouth kissing, sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils or towels, using the same wash water, drinking fountain or toilet, swimming in the same pool; or coming into contact with the person’s sneezes, coughs, tears, or sweat. You also don’t get HIV from bug bites or by donating blood.
The best way to actually stay protected against HIV is to go on a daily regimen of PrEP, a medication designed to block the spread of the virus should you come in contact with it during sexual intercourse. If you’re having sex that can put you at risk, go on PrEP today! Allies is happy to help you get started.
Yes! Most Allies services come at little to no cost. Additionally, we provide financial assistance in order to keep people living with HIV housed, fed, and living with working utilities.