Our mission is to encourage self-empowerment and
provide direct services for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Q: What is a Case Manager? Do I need one?
A: A Case Manager is a person who will help someone access their needs/goals. Case Managers help you with health care and health care coverage, counseling and finding support groups, housing/homelessness issues, legal help, chemical dependency, transportation concerns, financial issues and more. If you feel that your needs and goals can not be obtained by yourself, then looking into a case management program would be a smart move.
Q: I want a new case manager. How do I find one?
A: To find a new or first-time case manager contact the Minnesota AIDSLine at 612.373.2437 or 1.800.248.2437.TTY Callers can contact 612.373.2456 or 1.888.820.2437.
Q: I’m currently living in a shelter. Where can I find housing information?
A: Your case manager can provide housing information for you. If you do not have a case manager, you can look online at www.mnhl.org for weekly updated housing vacancies in the seven county metro area. The website only lists vacancies on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Q: Where can I get furniture for my new apartment?
A: Bridging, Inc. can provide furniture for you, but you may need a referral from your case manager.
Q: Where can I find free or discounted clothing and household items?
A: The Free Store and Sabathani’s Clothing Shelf are two great places that you can check out.
Q: What important issues should I consider when choosing a doctor?
A: For most of us, the doctor-patient relationship is one of the most important ones we’ll have – but often one of the least considered. So when finding a doctor for any reason, you should look at issues that are important to you: Do you want a doctor who focuses on medications or one who is against using a lot of medications? One who thinks you should incorporate alternative therapies into your lifestyle or not? One who gives you the straight facts (no matter how good or bad) or one who with candy-coat the facts for you? Most important, perhaps, is finding a doctor you feel understands your issues and who can really connect with you.
Q: Who is the best doctor?
A: The best doctor is a doctor you’re comfortable with. Remember that you’ll spend a lot of time talking to your doctor about highly personal things; make sure that you don’t feel your doctor is judgmental or critical of you. If you live in a small town and confidentiality is an issue to you, then consider finding a doctor outside your hometown. And remember that while referrals are wonderful, the doctor that your friends and family just love may not be the best doctor for you.
Q: I have questions about medical insurance, disabilities benefits, etc. Where can I go to receive some guidance?
A: Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) at 1.800.657.3761 or Minnesota AIDS Project Benefits Counseling at 612.341.2060 for information and guidance. You can also contact the Minnesota AIDSLine at 612.373.2437 or 1.800.248.2437. TTY callers contacting the AIDSLine can use 612.373.2456 or 1.888.820.2437.
Q: Why does the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) contact you when you are newly diagnosed?
A: The Minnesota Department of Health is wanting to know who you might have exposed to HIV and as a safety check, let that individual know that they have been exposed and should be tested for precautionary measures.
Q: I’m newly diagnosed. How long do most people live with HIV?
A: This question has no correct answer to it. Each individual’s immune system is different and therefore no blanket statement can be made as to how long you will live with HIV. The best thing to do is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Q: I’m struggling with staying on my medication. Are there places that can talk to me about that?
A: There is Medication Adherence support available by contacting MnMAP at 612.863.4008. They can provide free supplies, counseling and support for remembering to take your medication.
Q: Why should I become a member of The Aliveness Project?
A: Not everyone who is diagnosed may need to sign up for services at Aliveness. In fact, we frequently hear people say, “I can afford to pay for services elsewhere.” That’s great! We encourage people to consider all their opportunities to receive health care or nutritional assistance. However, keep in mind that we are a center where you can receive emotional and social support from people who really understand the challenges you’re facing.
Q: What rights do I have when it comes to employment? Can a lawyer help me with workplace discrimination?
A: Legally, you can not be discriminated against in your employment. There are legal resources available to you that are geared towards helping the HIV community fight workplace discrimination.
Q: Can I get turned down for housing because I’m HIV+?
A: Legally, you can not be turned away from housing because you are HIV+. Again, seek legal counsel if you feel that you’ve been turned away from housing because you are HIV+ or because of your sexual orientation.
Q: Do I need a support group? How do I find one if I do want to join one?
A: A decision to be in a support group is dependent on what your needs are. You must first ask yourself what you are lacking in your life and if you have the ability to start changing your life around. There are many support groups out there for all walks of life (social, chemical dependency, spiritual, peer-led or discussant led, etc.) Talk to friends, your case manager or doctor, or staff here at Aliveness to find out what groups are available and might be best for you.
Q: How can I meet other positive people?
A: By coming in to The Aliveness Project and signing up, you will be guaranteed to meet other positive people. By keeping an open mind and having a willingness to start a conversation and a listening ear, you will increase your friendship network in no time.
Q: Where can I find out about what community resources are available to me?
A: You can find out what’s out there in the community by asking your case manager or doctor, and also looking into the HIV Resource Guide.
If there are other questions you think that The Aliveness Project should answer on this FAQs page, please let us know.