BronxWorks Positive Living Programs are a collection of comprehensive services providing case management and health education, harm reduction, and transmission prevention to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The program began in the early 1990s as one of the first Bronx-based HIV/AIDS services, providing a multitude of client-centered services and resources. The programs have gradually expanded since to include harm reduction resources, community testing for HIV and Hepatitis C, nutrition and recreation programs, and more.
Today, Positive Living is focused on three service areas: case management and health education, harm reduction, and HIV prevention. The intensive Case Management Health Education Program provides assistance with every part of life for participants, including access to benefits and financial management; health care management, adherence, and follow-up; assistance with securing substance abuse and mental health counseling; family stability and independent living resources; and more for individuals living with HIV/AIDS both documented and undocumented.
The Positive Living Harm Reduction program teaches participants different strategies to reduce the harm of risky behaviors related to alcohol and substance use. The goal of the program is to help participants living with HIV/AIDS live a healthier lifestyle. Positive Living staff meet participants wherever they are at in their stage of life, providing individual and group counseling sessions, individualized case management and support, and linkage to care and treatment resources like substance use counseling or training and access to Narcan opioid overdose prevention kits.
The Positive Living HIV Prevention Program offers workshops in the community for adults and youth on HIV education and prevention. The program also focuses on providing access to HIV and Hep-C testing, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) education, along with linkage to follow-up care and treatment. HIV Prevention Program workshops cover various topics such as infection and reinfection, countering myths about HIV/AIDS, providing facts about HIV/AIDS and transmission, teaching about safer sex, and the importance of testing.
The goal of this trio of programs is to ensure that every participant can lead a healthy life. The day-to-day at Positive Living is a bevy of activity that is anything but static. For participants, Positive Living represents that space where they can go each day to find a welcoming and safe environment, a staff that cares and is invested in their well-being, and a community of friends and colleagues who are all striving for a better life. There are recreational activities, food service, and celebrations. Staff also provide special food items, like turkeys and whole chickens, during the holidays. Staff are there to help participants manage their crises and accomplish their goals.
Many participants wish to move forward and better themselves. We’ve had many participants land jobs, get married, and start their own families.”
– Bibi Karim, Department Director
That’s what the Positive Living program at BronxWorks is about – providing services to the underserved, meeting people where they are at, having a conversation, and listening to their goals. In doing so, we help our participants reach new heights and see them thrive.