HIV/AIDS & HOMELESSNESS

 

 

COMMONWEALTH LAND TRUST FIGHTS HIV/AIDS & HOMELESSNESS

 

Commonwealth Land Trust has provided housing and supportive services to homeless individuals living with HIV/AIDS since 1990. During the early years of the epidemic, many individuals living with HIV/AIDS suffered rapid heath declines and displayed visible symptoms of the disease. They faced discrimination, unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. CLT focused on direct treatment of the disease. Nursing staff was employed at several of our properties, providing medical treatment and hospice care. (Click here to learn more.)

 

 

COMMONWEALTH LAND TRUST SUCCESS STORIES: HIV & HOMELESSNESS

 

Click on the links below to learn about two of our HIV positive residents and their struggles with homelessness.

 

Kevin

Stephano

 

 

HOMELESSNESS & HIV/AIDS

 

Increasing rates of homelessness contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over one million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS and 50% of those infected are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In 2006, The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimated that 3.4% of homeless people were HIV positive, compared to .4% of adults in the general population. Individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, unprotected sex with multiple partners), which make them susceptible to contracting the virus. Numerous studies have shown that securing permanent housing is associated with a decrease in risk behaviors. (Click here to learn more.)

 

 

HISTORY OF HIV/AIDS IN AMERICA

 

In 1984, American doctors were the first to identify the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), a new disease that attacked immune system cells, leaving the body susceptible to infections and other ailments. Early HIV patients suffered from high fever, lethargy, severe weight loss, and tumors on the skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal track. They were often young, previously healthy individuals who were blindsided by rapid health declines. Many people seeking treatment were in the advanced stage of HIV disease known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), where the immune system is severely weakened and can no longer fight off infection. (Click here to learn more.)