Cassandra has been living with HIV for nearly 20 years. She plans to stay strong and healthy, not only for herself, but for her 5 year-old grandson, who she recently adopted. WHP is a source of strength for her, a place to have all her medical needs met in a supportive, comforting setting. Cassandra knows that, as a woman thriving in the face of this challenge, she can help other women with HIV. She has become a member of the Family Service Network, doing outreach work to educate people about HIV and “give hope to people dealing with this disease.”
Iris learned she was HIV positive in 1991, at a time when many newly infected people were shunned by their families and friends. She has experienced addiction, homelessness and multiple health problems- issues faced by many women living with HIV. The comprehensive services offered by WHP help keep her healthy, informed and safe. She sees multiple specialists within UCSF, all within a single clinic setting. Through WHP she has learned that “you can live with HIV, you just need to take care of yourself. Life is worth living”.
For several years, Carolyn, already sick with HIV, was homeless and living on the streets with her cats. The WHP receptionist met her on the street and recruited her to come to the clinic. Carolyn obtained stable and comfortable housing due to the intervention of the Program’s case manager. Unfortunately, her health declined. Carolyn died in 2006 at Maitri Hospice surrounded by her family, friends, and stuffed animals. We were all so sad to lose Carolyn, but feel great satisfaction in knowing that our help allowed her to get off the streets, obtain housing, and eventually die in a dignified and comfortable way.