Category Archives: Services

Rapid HIV Testing

Get Tested at Face to Face!

Rapid HIV Testing at Face to Face

Tuesdays through Fridays
9am – 4:30pm at the Face to Face Office

Face to Face offers FREE confidential or anonymous HIV testing at our office located at 873 Second Street in Santa Rosa. We use the rapid HIV test, with results ready in just twenty minutes!

 

Treatment by acupuncture. The doctor uses needles for treatment of the patient.

Free Acupuncture

LorelleWe are delighted to have Lorelle Saxena from The Saxena Clinic join us to discuss the healing benefits of acupuncture.

Lorelle will provide an overview of the newly created monthly group sessions she will be hosting at Face to Face.

Monthly session will be held every second Thursday at at 2:15 pm.

Lorelle Saxena graduated in 2008 from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine with a Master of Science degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine.  She is a State of California-licensed acupuncturist.  Her clinical internship work included training at the San Diego Hospice, the UCSD Owen Clinic for HIV and AIDS patient care, and a community clinic for low-income senior citizens.

Lorelle’s focus is on compassionate, empowering healthcare–care that gradually facilitates the body’s own ability to heal itself, education that helps patients understand how to enact preventive medicine in their day-to-day lives, and support that allows patients to work towards optimal health in a safe, comfortable environment.

Lorelle has been voted Best Acupuncturist in Sonoma County Three Years in a Row by the Bohemian.

 

prep-image

Questions about PrEP?

PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis)

The Basics

What is PrEP? Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a way to prevent HIV. With PrEP, people who are HIV-negative take a medication (Truvada) once a day to reduce the risk of getting infected if they’re exposed to HIV. PrEP is an additional method that can be used with other HIV prevention strategies such as condoms.

The Research

PrEP clinical trials have been conducted, or are currently being conducted, all over the world. Research has very clearly demonstrated that PrEP offers high levels of protection against HIV 1nfection if you taken it regularly. But, if you don’t take it consistently, PrEP can’t protect you from HIV.

Questions About PrEP

Check out Men.PrEP.org or PrEPfacts.org for answers to all your questions about PrEP, including:

  • Why do we need HIV prevention tools like PrEP?
  • Aren’t condoms good enough?
  • What are the side effects from PrEP?
  • How can I afford PrEP?
  • Where is PrEP available now?

Interested in Starting PrEP?

Visit your primary care physician to begin the conversation. PrEP is covered by most medical insurance companies, including Kaiser, Medical Cal, and Medicare.

If you are on Medical Cal, visit any one of the following F2F community partners:

Vista Family Health Center
West County Health Centers

Not sure what to ask? Here is a handy resource to get your conversation stared.

If you are not ready to speak to you healthcare provider but would like to learn more about PrEP from F2F, visit our office Tuesdays – Fridays from 9am-4:30pm for your regular HIV test and ask your test counselor for more information.

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PrEP in Sonoma County

Back in the 80’s and 90’s, if you told us there was a pill you could take that would prevent HIV/AIDS, the news would have been met with great celebration, overwhelming interest, and huge media coverage. So why not now? Why has the news about a medical breakthrough in HIV prevention been so cautious, so quiet? HIV has not gone away. Although the health outcomes of someone living with HIV are so much better today, the number of new cases has not gone down, people are still getting HIV, and there are more people today living with HIV in Sonoma County than ever before. The risk of getting HIV is still very real.

In June, 2012 the FDA approved the drug Truvada for use as a preventative for HIV infection for those at risk, Pre-exposure Prophlyaxis (PrEP). It had already been shown to be very effective as a post-exposure treatment (PEP) when taken in the first 72 hours after exposure. Then in May, 2014 the CDC recommended Truvada as an effective prevention option. And yet, the number of people getting prescriptions for PrEP is quite small, even in communities of people who are significant risk of getting HIV. In the Gay community there has even been stigma attached to taking PrEP with names like Truvada Whore attached to those taking the drug. This stigma, akin to that of the early years of birth control, has the unfortunate effect of suppressing healthy dialogue and discouraging those who would likely benefit.

A couple of months ago, we put together three community forums here in Sonoma County about PrEP. Although many service providers attended and learned more about it, there were almost no individuals present to explore the option for themselves. Perhaps it was too soon, or maybe it’s too personal an issue for a public dialogue. But I’m willing to bet we would have had a full house 10 or 20 years ago!

Let me break right here for a full disclaimer: Although I am an HIV Test Counselor and educator, I have no medical degree or training, and am not recommending that everyone use PrEP. This is a conversation that anyone interested should have with their doctor. It’s a very personal decision, and you need to figure out if it’s right for you.

How effective is PrEP? The latest studies show that Truvada is more than 90% effective of preventing HIV infection when taken daily. It needs to be taken daily to work! You can’t just take it on the weekends when you’re sexually active, or every other day to save money.

How expensive is it? It aint cheap, and this may be a barrier, but many insurance plans and MediCal are covering the cost of the prescription, and there is also a medication assistance programs from the manufacturer.

What about side effects? Most people have few or minor side effects that go away in a couple of weeks. Truvada can affect some people’s kidneys, so your doctor will monitor you kidney function to make sure you’re OK.

Is it PrEP vs condoms? No, studies show that many people using PrEP have increased their use of condoms. For them it is another layer of protection. Some people have stopped using condoms when on PrEP. Some were not using condoms consistently before, so with PrEP their level of protection has dramatically increased.

How do I find out more? Check out this info -http://www.projectinform.org/prep/ and http://prepfacts.org/ Come in and talk to one of our HIV Test Counselors, and pick up some info. And get a free HIV test while you’re here – results in just 20 minutes. Here’s an interesting article in Newsweek.

AIDS Legal Referral

Autumn Legal Fling

alrpFriday, April 10
Face to Face
2:00 pm

In partnership with the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, we are hosting this free workshop for people living with HIV/AIDS to complete Wills, Advance Healthcare Directives and Powers of Attorney.  

All documents will be notarized for free.  Please RSVP to your Case Manager by calling 707.544.1581. 

Things to bring to the workshop:

  • Photo ID (CA driver license, CA ID card or passport)
  • Name, Address, and Phone Number of the following people:
    • Executor of Will
    • Alternate Executor
    • Any person you want to give a gift or personal item
    • Agent for Medical Power of Attorney
    • Agent for Financial Power of Attorney

All documents will be notarized for free.  The AIDS Legal Referral Panel is a nonprofit organization that helps people living with HIV/AIDS maintain or improve their health status by resolving their legal issues.

FreeAnonymous orConfidential Testing9am (1)

National HIV Testing Day

Rapid HIV Testing at Face to Face

Tuesdays through Fridays
9am – 4:30pm at the Face to Face Office

Face to Face offers FREE confidential or anonymous HIV testing at our office located at 873 Second Street in Santa Rosa. We use the rapid HIV test, with results ready in just twenty minutes!

web coat drive

Coat Drive

We’re collecting warm coats for those in need in
Sonoma County – people living with HIV, those without
homes, those with low income, and our beloved seniors.
Winter coats, socks, hats, and rain ponchos for men,
women and kids would be warmly appreciated.

Donations can be dropped off at Face to Face,
873 Second Street, Santa Rosa, 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday
through Friday, from now to December 19.

Or bring them with you to the San Francisco Gay Men’s
Chorus concert at the Wells Fargo Center on December 6, at 7:30 pm.

We extend a heartfelt thanks to Ms. Brady from the Jack London Elementary School for organizing an all-school coat drive to help us keep warm as possible as many F2F individuals and families in need!

Our coat drive is a registered event of the national program by One Warm Coat

meditationimage

Meditation Group

Reducing stress can bolster immune system in HIV-positive individuals

New Schedule: F2F clients are invited to join us Friday, May 8 & 22 at Noon for a free, one-hour session. Please RSVP to your case manager. Starting in June, mediation will be held the first and third Fridays of each month.

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of bringing an open and receptive awareness of the present moment to experiences, avoiding thinking of the past or worrying about the future. It is thought to reduce stress and improve health outcomes in a variety of patient populations.

F2F is grateful for the generosity of the teachers and staff of Stone Creek Zen Center.

We look forward to greeting you!

 

 

LIFE (web)

Life Program

 

A 13-week health enhancement group focusing on health issues which help or hinder your immune system, risk behavior, and adherence to medications and/or health routines.

The next program will be held in Santa Rosa and begin on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.  1-3pm

The program is free of charge.  See below for detailed information.  To register, please call Heather Myler at 707.544.1581 or email at hmyler@f2f.org

About the Life Program:
The Shanti L.I.F.E. Program® is the nation’s leading HIV self-management and health-enhancement program. L.I.F.E. provides participants with the knowledge, motivation, skills, and support necessary to establish and maintain health-protective routines.

Face to Face, in partnership with Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, offer the LIFE program twice a year in Sonoma County. The course is offered free of charge to our clients, and is presented by Face to Face staff and volunteers who have been trained and certified by Shanti.

Our Program Goals:

  • Optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV by assisting participants in improving their performance on biological, psychological, and social Cofactors that can impact health.
  • Reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV by assisting participants in reducing HIV transmission risk behaviors and other health-risking behaviors.

Is L.I.F.E. Effective?
Clinical program evaluation of L.I.F.E. shows that participants:

  • Reduce overall health problems (by 27-44%) and overall personal problems (by 38-50%);
  • Decrease drug/alcohol use and other health risking behaviors;
  • Increase adherence to HIV treatment and other health routines;
  • Increase the amount and quality of trusted support in their lives; and
  • Improve coping with grief, depression, and Survival Stress.

Through L.I.F.E.’s innovative and effective learning methods and group processes, L.I.F.E. participants improve their health outcomes in as few as 12 weeks.

How L.I.F.E. Works
L.I.F.E., which stands for Learning Immune Function Enhancement, is based on scientific research that connects our performance on certain biological, psychological, and social Cofactors, to immune system functioning, disease progression, and overall health. These Cofactors have been shown in HIV disease and other life-threatening illnesses to trigger symptom onset, speed up or slow down disease progression, and impact survival time. Cofactors have also been shown to impact physical, social, and psychological aspects of quality of life. When people living with HIV/AIDS or other illnesses understand the dynamic relationship between mind and body, and improve their performance on certain Cofactors, then they may benefit from improved physical and psychological health and well-being.

Cofactors to HIV+ Health and Wellness
A Cofactor is a life issue that can impact health. Research shows Cofactors can slow down (HIV, cancer, or Hepatitis C) disease progression; help to reverse existing disease symptoms or AIDS-related conditions; enhance immune system functioning; increase adherence to health routines including medication/treatment protocols used to treat disease or symptoms; and improve one’s ability and willingness to choose health-supporting behaviors over health-risking behaviors.

L.I.F.E. participants explore their performance on 26 Cofactors and receive the knowledge, motivation, skills, and support necessary to set and reach goals related to their Cofactor performance and health. By increasing health-supporting Cofactor performance and reducing or eliminating health-risking Cofactor performance, participants can greatly increase their potential to develop and maintain wellness.