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We are a group of people living with chronic long term conditions learning to help our selves and each other by sharing our strength, experience, and hopes. 

History:

The Guardian Health Association grew out of the New Haven People with AIDS Coalition in 1989.  A small group of gay men realized that HIV was growing into other communities, and we wanted to take the focus off of HIV, AIDS, death and dying to Health, Healing, and manageability.  They also felt that by not having HIV or AIDS in the group name, might encourage others who were afraid, or unable to be associated with HIV in any way, might be more willing to get involved.

The group, which already consisted of long term survivors back then, realized that HIV could be managed even though the medications at that time were limited and very toxic.  While the prevalent thinking was to hit HIV hard and early, we advocated for keeping the body healthy and HIV in check for as long as possible until HIV medications were absolutely necessary.  This philosophy is now becoming more accepted by medical professionals who have seen the devastating side effects that HIV medications can sometimes bring.

The group knew that in order to survive HIV, one not only had to fight the virus, but also pay attention to those factors that keep the body healthy and strong such as diet, nutrition, exercise, reducing stress, rest, and relaxation.

While group members advocated for better health care, and access to nutritional  therapies, they would often pull their limited resources together and buy supplements in bulk at substantial discounts.  As HIV buyers clubs began to emerge, and wellness programs became available, the need for this activity diminished.

With the dawn of protease inhibitors, group membership and participation fell.  Support groups began to disband as well, as it was hoped that this new class of drugs would keep HIV in check if not even eradicate HIV totally.

During this period, the small group continued to advocate for better health care and treatments, as well as educate consumers on important aspects of living with HIV.  This was done through workshops on nutrition and exercise at local HIV conferences, speaking to local groups about the importance of exercise and muscle mass, and spear heading campaigns to increase awareness about wasting and nutritional depletion even with the new HIV cocktails available.

In 1998, a group member and co-founder, also co-founded the Greater New Haven HIV Consumer Council.  When no AIDS Service Organization took this new group under their fiduciary wing, the Guardian Health Association incorporated in 2000 as membership non-profit, dedicated to education and support.

The Greater New Haven HIV Consumer Council started out strong with 30 members, and was a leader in HIV Consumer Advocacy that lead to many of the wellness programs that currently exist today in the New Haven area.  The web site at www.hivcouncil.org was successful, and requests were made to expand it to cover other areas besides the Greater New Haven area.  The group decided to pull out of local activities in which they felt they had no voting power, and expanded it's focus to Connecticut.

The Connecticut HIV Consumer Council is dedicated to continuing HIV advocacy and legislative efforts.

Today:

With many new exciting projects underway, The Guardian Health Association, Inc, hope to fill some gaps that have been too long ignored in terms of HIV prevention and care.  Some of these continued accomplishments are:

bulletContinue running, promoting, and improving the only Connecticut Statewide HIV Community Calendar
bulletExpand the Connecticut HIV On-Line Resources Guide to cover more remote areas in Connecticut
bulletContinue monitoring Connecticut's oldest and most active e-mail lists: CTHIVNews
bulletContinue it's advocacy and educational efforts for people living with HIV/AIDS
bulletHelp more consumers get access to technology and information that can help them change the course of their health outcomes.
bulletCreate innovative and relevant educational programs that have impact.

 Want to get involved?

Contact us:

Directors

Robert J. Sideleau
President
James F. Taylor
Vice President
John A. Weant
Treasurer
Helen Schaffer
Secretary

Advisory Board:

Dr. Gary Blick, MD
Sharon Dina, MS, CDN
Dr. Elisabeth Zehavi, ND


CT Online Resources Guide


CT Statewide HIV Community Calendar


Medical Updates
HIV Action Alerts
FDA Alerts
Community Events
HIV/AIDS News

Web sites:

guardianhealth.org

hivcouncil.org

       
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