POSITIVE VOICES–MAY 2010
Your Newsletter by Positive People for Positive People
LGBTQ Adult Education Series: Three evenings in May and June 2010
Come out and find out about current issues of importance to members of the lesbian/gay/
bisexual/ transgender/ queer communities. You may attend one or all of the programs in the
series. Allies welcome! Refreshments will be served. Free to all attendees but registration is
required. Got questions? You may submit specific questions or raise individual concerns in
advance of the sessions, so that the speakers can be prepared to address them. Please RSVP to
Ethan Lewis, Mpowerment Coordinator, email@example.com, 607.651.9175.
The LGBTQ Adult Education Series is presented by The Cube (thecubebinghamton.org), The
Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project (PrideAndJoyFamilies.org) and Temple Concord’s Social
Action Committee (TempleConcord.com).
Session #1: Advance Health Care Planning
Tuesday, May 18, 7-8:30 pm at Identity, 206 State Street, Binghamton, NY
Tanya Walker, Action for Older Persons, will give a presentation on the topic of Advance
Planning. Participants will learn how to make their wishes regarding medical treatment known
should they become incapacitated. Tanya will discuss Health Care Proxies, Living Wills, and DNR
(do not resuscitate) orders. This workshop is especially important to the LGBTQ communities
because sometimes our loved ones are not legally in line to make decisions regarding our health.
We need to make sure that the correct people will be left in charge of our health care decisions
should something stop us from being able to make them for ourselves.
Session #2: Financial Considerations for LGBTQ People
Tuesday, May 25, 7-8:30 pm at Identity, 206 State Street, Binghamton, NY
An October 2009 article in the New York Times (“The High Price of Being a Gay Couple,” by Tara
Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber) put a price tag on what many of us have long known: that same-
sex couples bear extra health, legal and other costs, as compared to their heterosexual
counterparts. The authors came up with a figure of $41,196 (best case scenario) to $467,562
(worst case) over a lifetime. RJ Barber, Financial Consultant, will discuss special financial
planning considerations for LGBTQ people at a session devoted entirely to the subject. Bring a
friend and your questions.
Session #3: “To Marry or Not to Marry?”
Thursday, June 3, 7-8:30 pm at Temple Concord, 9 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY
Join Binghamton Attorney Judith Osburn for an evening with members of the LGBTQ and allied
communities to help us sort through the complexities of same-sex marriage in New York State.
While NY does not permit marriage between people of the same sex, an Executive Order by the
Governor requires entities within the State to recognize legal marriages performed elsewhere.
Come out and find out what this means for NYS residents.
For further information about the Series or its cosponsors, contact Claudia E. Stallman, Project
Director, Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project, firstname.lastname@example.org, 607.724.4308.
SOUTHERN TIER AIDS PROGRAM RAISES MORE THAN $75,000 FROM AIDS WALK
By Nancy Dooling from pressconnects.com/April 17, 2010
Walkers and runners Saturday April 17, 2010 raised more than $75,000 for the Southern Tier
AIDS Program – a record amount, STAP officials said. That’s welcome news for the agency, which
provides community services to people with HIV/AIDS in eight counties, including Broome, said
Mary Kaminsky, STAP’s Director of Development. “This is our best year ever” Kaminsky said.
More than 500 people turned out Saturday, dodging random snowflakes at Binghamton’s
Recreational Park for the annual fund-raiser. The good news comes at a time when state funding
for community agencies is being cut or discontinued, said Paul Rushanski, STAP Board President.
The money raised Saturday will be used to replace state aid or pay for on-going services,
The president had challenged its 13 board members to raise $10,000 this year. Instead they
more than doubled that amount, raising $20,384, organizers said. Rushanski raised $6,500 –
more than any other individual walker. Joshua B/Ludzki of fm radio station STAR 105.7 raised
$3.085, the second highest amount raised by individual organizers said. Ludski is also a board
member at STAP. “The support for this agency and its mission is unbelievable. It’s
unprecedented”, Rushanski said.
Frank and Angela Carro’s support has never waivered. The Johnson City couple’s son, Robbie
Carro, died of AIDS four years ago. They founded “Robbie’s Pantry”, which provided free
toiletries for people with AIDS. “We do this in the memory of our son”, Frank Carro said. This
year Team Robbie’s 72 walkers raised $12,558. A team from Frito-Lay raised about $6,000,
including a matching corporate grant, organizers said.
Becky Smith puts a human face on the disease. She was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. The Town
of Chenango woman walked in Saturday’s event as an AIDS survivor. “Anything I can do to lessen
the stigma of the disease”, she said afterwards. “If I can help one person hold on to their
dignity, I will”.
FROM THE MEDICAL ADVOCATES
The STAP Medical Advocacy Team is pleased to announce a new program,
(Choosing Healthy Options and Improving Client Empowerment Skills), available
to all STAP clients!
The CHOICES program is designed to offer participants the opportunity to learn more about HIV,
its impact on the body, and the many healthy options available to combat HIV and the side
effects of medications. In short, CHOICES is all about YOU and how you can be HEALTHY and
HAPPY! In addition to the educational benefits of CHOICES, if participants choose to complete at
least ten of the topics (modules) listed below, they will be eligible to become a STAP Peer
Mentor and can work with other STAP clients to share what they have learned and to be a source
of support for other people who are living with HIV/AIDS. Or, just sign up for the six core
modules for your own personal learning!
Required: (6 modules)
HIV 101 (Transmission, Life Cycle & Disease Progression)
Adherence & Resistance
Medications (Classes, Actions, Overview, Side Effects & Managing Them)
Understanding Your Labs Overview
Men’s & Women’s Health Concerns
Optional: (pick any 4 or more)
Advanced Understanding Your Labs
Dental Care & Oral Concerns
Sleep (Importance, Healing, Techniques, Medications)
Nutrition (My Pyramid, HIV+ Nutrition, Vitamins & Minerals)
Hepatitis B & C (Transmission, Concerns & Treatments)
Smoking Cessation & Lung Health
Alcohol & Drug Use
Cholesterol & Heart Health
Diabetes (Medical Complications, Management, Diet)
Kidney & Liver Health
Mental Health & Stress Management
You can also choose to complete a single module, if you don’t want to commit to enrolling in
CHOICES program for the full series of topics. Required modules must be completed first, but can
be completed in any order, based on your needs and preferences.
Optional modules can be chosen in any order after completing the six required modules. You
can participate in CHOICES through individual meetings with the Medical Advocacy Team, via
webcam, or through group training sessions.
Reasons you may want to consider CHOICES:
1. Starting or restarting treatment(s)
2. Having trouble with current treatment(s)
3. Changing treatment(s)
4. Desire to become a Peer Mentor
If you have any questions, or would like to enroll in the CHOICES program, please contact the
Medical Advocacy Team!
Robin Carroll, Medical Advocacy Coordinator (Broome, Delaware, Otsego Counties) 607-206-3418
James Elrod, Medical Advocate (Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins Counties) 607-426-9445
SAVE THE DATE!!! “JOURNEYS” SPIRITUAL RETREAT FOR CLIENTS ONLY
FROM JUNE 15 – 17, 2010.
STAP will be holding this year’s client only spiritual retreat from Tuesday, June 15 – through
Thursday, June 17, 2010 at the Sky Lake Retreat Center in Windsor, NY. The mission of this
very special retreat is to assist individuals in finding their inner strength by awakening spiritual
awareness as a means to deal with the difficulties of living with HIV/AIDS. This unique
experience offers 3 days/2 nights of education, spiritual growth and an opportunity to meet
others impacted by HIV/AIDS. Come make new friends, learn about your own spiritual journey
and draw strength from a refreshed perspective on life. There is no cost to you, but we will
require a $10 deposit which is refundable to those that attend the entire retreat and will be
returned to participants on the last day of the retreat. Financial assistance may be available for
those experiencing hardship. To express your interest, please find the inserted flyer in this
newsletter, complete all of the information and mail it back in the provided self-addressed,
stamped envelope. You will then be contacted by mail with more details. If you have any
questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Retreat Coordinator, Carrie Juraska on her
cell phone: (607) 725-2027 or via email: email@example.com. More information will be in the
June issue of Positive Voices.
NEW INFORMATION!!!! WANT A JOB WITH CENSUS 2010????
Apply today!! More information, including a practice test, is available at:
www.2010censusjobs.gov or call toll free at 1-866-2010. Hourly wages run from $14.00
upwards depending on your location and size of county. Give them a call TODAY!!!
Community Art Class at The Cube Taught by Angelo Fiori
STAP Board Member and Volunteer Angelo Fiori is starting a Community Art Class. It will be held
at The Cube on Thursday Evenings, 7-10 PM starting March 4th, as a weekly class at first.
Depending on the funds raised and interest, it would be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The class
would be open it all groups: HIV positive, HIV negative, LGBTQ community, gay or straight. His
vision of this art class is to be one of and about our community and coming together to respect
each other’s differences. Please show up if you are interested in participating in this Community
Art Class. The class will include drawing, collage, watercolor, painting and more. Beginners and
all are welcome to participate to bring out their artistic possibilities and great discussions.
The Cube address: 208 State Street, Binghamton, NY 13901
FROM KAREN’S MEDICINE SHOPPE PHARMACY CORNER
At the end of last month’s article, I mentioned the fact that Norvir has just become available in a
tablet form that no longer requires refrigeration, so I thought I would feature it this month.
Norvir belongs to a class of medications called Protease Inhibitors. As we have been learning
about HIV and the medications available to treat it, there are different ways to attack its
progression. Inhibiting the enzyme protease helps slow the replication of HIV. Protease is
needed by the body to complete the process of HIV replicating and inserting itself in to new
Norvir currently comes in a 100mg capsule, a 100mg tablet and an oral solution. The drawback
to the 100mg capsule that is currently used most commonly, is that it should be kept
refrigerated. A bottle of Norvir capsules can be kept at room temperature as long as it is used
within 30 days, but refrigeration is still recommended. The new tablet formulation can be
stored at room temperature at all times.
The dosing for Norvir, if it is the only protease inhibitor being used is 600mg twice a day. Much
more frequently however, we see Norvir not being used as single therapy, but as a booster for
another protease inhibitor. Because of the complicated way our bodies metabolize Norvir, it
actually can interact in a favorable way with other protease inhibitors to make them work
better. The dosing for using Norvir as a booster is generally 100mg one to two times a day.
Using Norvir at this lower dose as a booster also lowers the potential for side effects. The
medication commonly causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. I
noted in my research that the manufacturer states that patients may experience more of these
type side effects when switching from the capsule to the tablet formulation due to the fact that
the tablet actually leads to a higher concentration of medication in the blood. It also states that
these side effects generally diminish as therapy is continued.
Some other important side effects to note are increases in triglycerides and cholesterol, onset of
diabetes and high blood sugar, and changes in where your body distributes its fat. None of these
are reasons to discontinue the medication, and your doctor can safely treat these problems if
Finally, I want to go over what medications are not safe to take when you are taking Norvir.
First, Amiodarone, which is a common medication used to treat heart arrhythmias. Also,
Ergotamine containing medications, which are not very common anymore, but can be found in
some of the older migraine headache medications. Next, and I think this is important to mention,
Simvastatin and Lovastatin, two very common medications used to treat high cholesterol. The
reason that I think this is important for you to know, is that I can almost guarantee that if your
doctor writes you a prescription for Lipitor to treat your cholesterol (which is safe to use with
Norvir at low doses), your insurance company is going to try and get you to switch to Simvastatin
or Lovastatin because they are generic and much less expensive. You need to be your own
advocate in case your insurance company tries to do this. No switch can be made without your
doctor’s approval, but in dealing with prior approvals and insurance companies every day I can
tell you that something like that could easily slip through and be changed. The drug interaction
list continues to some of the older and less widely used sedatives and it even includes a common
over the counter herbal medication called St John’s Wort. Taking Norvir with St. John’s Wort
can actually lower the concentration of Norvir in your blood which in turn lowers its
effectiveness and increases the chance of building resistance to the drug.
I hope that this month’s article has been helpful to you and answered any questions you may
have. Remember, you can always forward me questions and/or ideas for future articles through
STAP. Have a great month.
Karen L Conn Rph
FROM CANDACE IN THE VOLUNTEER DEPARTMENT
1. Thank you to all who came out in force to the 2010 AIDS Walk / Run. It was a huge success.
2. I have been contacted by the Kalurah Shriners Circus. I will have vouchers for the Circus. You
will have to take the voucher to the box office at least ONE WEEK before the Circus starts. This
allows you to pick the day and time you want to attend. It will be on a first come first serve
basis. If you are looking for tickets to other events please feel free to contact me.
Candace - Volunteer Coordinator - 1-800-333-0892
NEWS FROM ITHACA: - Robbie and Carol from Ithaca are very interested in starting a meal,
movie, game etc. gathering in the Ithaca area. They need to know if anyone is interested. So if
you are interested, please contact Robbie at 607-229-7446.
ON-GOING MEETINGS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
JOIN CONSUMER ADVISORY COMMITTEE [CAC] MEETINGS
The STAP Consumer Advisory Committee is a committee facilitated by and made up of
consumers (STAP clients) who welcome other consumers and their significant others,
caretakers and family members to join them on the second Tuesday of each month.
collaborative effort provides a confidential space for clients to make recommendations
regarding STAP client services and other programs in a non-judgmental environment.
The meetings are held following the Friends Dinner at 6:15 at Trinity Memorial Church (on the
corner of Main & Oak Streets) in downtown Binghamton. Call 1-800-333-0892 for directions or
more details. If you cannot attend these meetings, mail your opinions or suggestions to STAP,
122 Baldwin Street, Johnson City, 13790, Attention CAC. CAC is encouraging consumers in
other counties to organize monthly meetings in their area. Contact your case manager or Brian
Wieder at 607-724-1272 to discuss developing CAC in your community.
THE DRAGON SLAYERS
Hepatitis C and Co-Infection Support Group. Meetings at 6:00 – 7:00PM on alternate Tuesdays
at Trinity M, 44 Main Street, Oak Street Entrance in Binghamton. For information, call (607)
Friends meet every Tuesday evening for a time of fellowship and good food. Join us at Trinity
Memorial Church (on the corner of Main & Oak Streets) in downtown Binghamton.
open at 5PM and dinner is served between 5:30 & 5:45. No charge, just come with a smile and
a friendly attitude – ready to meet and greet friends and have a hearty meal.
Parking is available on Oak Street behind the Church Annex. Use the Oak Street entrance for
the cafeteria. Free bus passes are available for STAP clients! Call your case manager for
details. Bus passes available for transportation to/from the Friends Dinner only. For more
information call Bill at 607-724-0103.
FREE ANONYMOUS RAPID HIV TESTING
Walk-in Anonymous testing every Monday from 1:00 – 4:30PM and Thursday from 9AM – Noon
(Anonymous) at STAP’s office, 122 Baldwin Street, Johnson City, NY. For information and
other testing times available through the month, please call (607) 798-1706. In Ithaca,
Tuesdays from 9 AM – 11:30 AM (Anonymous) and confidential testing can be arranged
Thursdays, 9 AM – 11:30 AM.
ONEONTA SOCIAL GROUP
Oneonta Social Group every Saturday at the First Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut Street in the
Dolly Room from 12:30PM-1:30PM.HIV/AIDS and affected welcome – Brunch is between 11:30-
1PM. This is not an official STAP Group.
ASK THE MEDICAL ADVOCATES
Have general questions or concerns regarding HIV?
Want to better manage side effects of your HIV medications?
Concerned about interactions between your HIV meds and other meds that you take?
Want to better understand the results of your blood work or other lab tests?
Concerned about HIV exposure risks to your negative partner?
Interested in alternative or complementary therapies for HIV?
Robin Carroll, Medical Advocacy Coordinator (Broome, Delaware, Otsego Counties) 607-206-3418
James Elrod, Medical Advocate (Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins Counties) 607-426-9445
HOPE DISPENSARY OF THE SOUTHERN TIER
The Hope Dispensary of the Southern Tier, a service provided by Lourdes Hospital, is a new
program designed to provide medications to those that are uninsured or underinsured and have a
limited income. Here is how you qualify:
1. You must have no prescription coverage
2. Have a photo ID or Social Security Card
3. Bring one of any of the following as proof of income: Pay Stubs or Bank Statement, SSI/SSD
paperwork or Unemployment or Pink Slip form from employer.
4. Bring proof of residency – one piece of mail with your name and address, such as a phone
bill, NYSEG bill or cable bill.
5. Bring the prescription with you
If you need assistance with providing this information to determine eligibity, they have an onsite
Social Worker who can help you with the process. There is a monthly income level that you
cannot exceed. The information is listed on the next page.
Family Size and Monthly Income
1 = $1,805
2 = $2,428
3 = $3,052
4 = $3,675
5 = $4,298
6 = $4,922
7 = $5,545
8 = $6,168
The Hope Dispensary will verify your information onsite and the Social Worker that is present
each day they are open will also provide screenings for financial assistance to access 50%
discounted up to possibly free healthcare in the Lourdes network. This is great information!!!
Hope Dispensary does not carry all medications. They do cover HIV medication as well as
antidepressants. They do not carry any controlled substances or birth control. If they do not
have the medication that you need, they have programs developed so that you might qualify for
free medication directly from the pharmaceutical corporations. They use medication samples
and generic medications. They are located at 477 State Street in Binghamton and their number is
607-584-9376. They are open Monday through Friday from 10AM – 6PM.
New LGBT Information Site Launched
The American Society on Aging has created a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)
Aging Resources Clearinghouse that holds information related to and resources for people aged
50 and older. The site’s searchable resources span several categories: education and training;
health and mental health; housing and support services; populations and communities; and
public policy, advocacy, and legal issues. Also available are annotated listings for service
providers, community and professional organizations, information sites, reports and articles, and
links for ordering DVDs, books, and other useful products.
FREE CELL PHONES
There is a government sponsored program available that can provide you with a free cell phone
and 68 free minutes per month. Eligibility is based on your participation in one of several State
or government programs like PUBLIC HOUSING, FOOD STAMPS, MEDICAID and more. There is also
a limit to the amount of income you receive each month. This program is called LifeLine
Assistance and you can find out about it through safelink.com or calling 1-800-378-1684. If you
need help with the application process, please call your STAP case manager for assistance.
The Cube is located at 208 State Street, Binghamton. It is open for drop-in education or just
hang out and have fun with others in the LGBTQ Community on Tuesdays from 5:00 – 9:00PM and
on Thursdays from 5:00 – 11:00PM. For information on The Cube and when it will be open for
other activities, call Jon at (607) 651-9175 or check out their website at
www.i3mpowerment.org. Here are some of the additional groups and events that they have at
Men’s Group – Peer discussion group for gay, bisexual or Men who sex with Men and questioning
guys. Meets 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 7:00PM
New York AIDS Coalition Remembers Ryan White Two Decades Later
Edited from a press release from Brittany Allen/NYAC Executive Director
On April 8, 2010, the HIV/AIDS clients, activists, supporters, family members and the healthcare
community commemorated the death of a very courageous boy. Twenty years ago Ryan White
died due to complications from AIDS. In 1990 with the HIV/AIDS epidemic still in its first decade
and raging unchecked, America and the world’s response to people living with HIV/AIDS was
drastically different. Throughout the 1980’s many Americans thought of AIDS as a gay disease.
All the while the government’s response was deplorable, ranging from complete silence to
neglect and stigmatization. In the mid 1980’s while facing discrimination from school, Ryan
White changed all of that. For millions of Americans, the teenager from Kokomo, Indiana
became the face of AIDS – the only person they knew living with the new and deadly disease.
Working with a multitude of entertainers and athletes, Ryan White became a national
spokesperson for HIV/AIDS. He fought for love and understanding, as well as increased
government funding to address the epidemic of our lifetime. White know firsthand that HIV/AIDS
spreads far and beyond the gay community, reaching communities of color, the world’s poor,
heterosexuals as well as children. Since White’s death two decades ago, over half a million
American’s have died of AIDS, while nearly 50,000 continue to become newly infected each
year. Worldwide, millions have died and nearly 35 million are living with HIV?AIDS across the
In August 1990, just four months following White’s death, Congress enacted the largest piece of
HIV/AIDS treatment legislation in the nation and named it after him. Known as the Ryan White
CARE Act, this law has provided a number of life saving HIV/AIDS services to American throughout
all 50 states, in big cities, sprawling suburbs and rural villages alike.
We remember Ryan White twenty years ago and celebrate his life. He broke down the barriers
of discrimination for so many people living with HIV/AIDS, living with dignity and tenacity up
until the end. It is hard to imagine that White would now be 38 years old, but his fight – our
fight – continues. With tens of thousands newly infected each year, we must increase our efforts
to prevent the further spread of HIV and educated people in all walks of life. We must also care
for those already infected. The HIV/AIDS epidemic cut short White’s life, as well as the lives of
countless others. Let us all take a moment and reflect on the life and legacy of the brave young
man, Ryan White.
SPEAK WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS
Camp Good Days and Special Times at Camp Courage/TLC 2010
Camp Courage is a residential camping program for children, age 8 – 14, who are infected or
affected by HIV/AIDS,. Camp will be held from Friday, August 27 – through Sunday, August 29,
2010 in Branchport, NY. Campers can apply inline to www.campgooddays.org or call 1-800-785-
2135. If anyone would like to volunteer, there will be a volunteer training on June 12, 2010,
but you must sign up at the website or number above by May 7, 2010. Volunteers are need for
the following positions: Camp Counselor, Nurse Practitioner or PA and a Physician to be on call
during camp. For campers, you can check with the number above to find out any transportation
arrangements that might be in the works.
NEXT GILEAD PHARMACY DINNER AND PRESENTATION
The dinner and HIV/AIDS related presentation will be held on Wednesday, May 19th, 5:30PM at
Grande’s Bella Cucina. As you are all aware by know, you must register with Bill at 607-724-
0103 before May 12th so Gilead can confirm with Grande’s the total amount. It is our
understanding that Gilead was given a whole new updated education package for the year 2010,
so we should be hearing new information. The topic this month is on ways individuals can
preserve their immune systems and starting treatment early vs later. The restaurant is located
at 1171 Vestal Avenue, Binghamton, NY 13903 very close to General Hospital,
INSPIRATION AND INFORMATION FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH LEARNING
DISABILITIES: Free Seminar by Rick Lavoie,M.A and M.ED:
“Fair doesn’t mean giving every child the same thing, it means giving every child what they
need” –Rick Lavoie.A special seminar is being presented by the Southern Tier Independence
Center on June 4, 2010 from 9 AM – 3 PM. The address is 135 E. Fredrick Street, Binghamton,
NY in the Helen Keller Conference Room. Among the topics to be discussed are the following:
*The impact of social incompetence upon the daily life of children
*The generic nature of social skill deficits
*Helping your children develop friendships and positive peer relationships
*Factors that enhance children’s social acceptance
*Overcome shyness and low self-esteem
*Enjoy play dates and making friends
Call 607-724-2111 for information and registration.
Out of Prison—and Into Good Health:
To control your HIV on the outside, start planning while you’re still behind the walls.
Six months before release:
Find out whether your prison or jail has a discharge worker—a staff member who helps prisoners
prepare for release. If so, that person can help with most of the things you need. If there isn’t a
discharge worker, ask your case manager or the chaplain. Introduce yourself and begin…
Request help getting a Social Security card, a photo ID and medical benefits. Ask for a referral to a
doctor in the community, and for help scheduling an appointment now for after release.
If you’re a veteran, find out if you qualify for any programs.
If you have no place to live after release, ask whether you qualify for sober housing (to help
people—ex-prisoners and others—stay off drugs).
Write to the ACLU or a local AIDS service organization (ASO) for help with health care, housing or
job placement (your case manager can help you find addresses). Some agencies might visit you
while you’re still in prison.
Ask your prison doctor for a copy of your medical records. Follow up until you get the files; you
may have to sign a release for them. Make sure the records show your HIV status and list all your
meds (those you take now and any you’ve taken before). Your outside doctor will need all that
Request a 30-day supply of your medication to take with you when you’re released. This should be
given to you just before you leave the institution.
If there is an HIV peer group (or any other prisoner peer group) in your facility, ask members for
tips on getting services outside.
After your release:
Make sure you keep that first doctor’s appointment after you get out. Most doctors have some kind
of social service staff in their office. Ask the staff for help finding services.
Advocate for yourself with the doctor. Describe your situation—that you would like to stay on your
meds but are struggling, for example, with homelessness, trying to stay clean, or whatever issues
you face. The doctor may be able to suggest a resource. At the very least, he or she should better
understand how to care for you.
Look up your local department of social services and ask what services might be available to you—
then apply for them.
If you can’t find help through these channels, consider seeking a faith-based organization. People
there can often point you in the direction of a social service agency if they don’t have one within
Bring a friend or family member with you to appointments (both doctor and agencies). Having
someone else listen along with you can help you understand and remember what’s said.
Contact the National Hire Network, which can refer you to job placement services in your state:
hirenetwork.org, 212.243.1313 or 202.544.5478.
Richards BL, Whittle SL, Buchbinder R. Neuromodulators for pain management in rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jan 18;1:CD008921. BACKGROUND: Pain management is a high priority for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Despite deficiencies in research data, neuromodulators have gained widespread clinical acceptance as adjuvants in the management of patients with
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