Since 1988, the North Shore Health Project, a Gloucester-based community organization founded by friends, family members, and those impacted by HIV/AIDS, has been in the forefront in the fight against HIV and the stigma such a diagnosis can bring. Many people on Cape Ann have been impacted, and each panel of stained glass in the window at 5 Center Street honors an individual lost to the disease.
Over the past 30 years there have been great improvements in medications used to treat HIV. Additionally, prevention includes condoms for sex and not sharing needles to inject drugs. It is critical to know your status. Many people with HIV feel that they must keep their diagnosis a secret for fear of social isolation. Most people with HIV can be treated successfully making it virtually impossible to transmit the virus, and yet are still shunned by family members and potential partners. Many long-term survivors are faced with the early onset of heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairment and dementia.
With support of friends and family and self-determination, many people living with HIV are also working, parenting, laughing, loving, and living fully. 2019 will be filled with events to showcase the 30th anniversary of the HP’s inception, so stay tuned. Dinners, music, dances, drag bingo…we will have something every month!
The North Shore Health Project provides case management, nutritional and psychosocial services and holistic treatments for individuals living with HIV and Hepatitis C. One Stop Harm Reduction Center provides syringe exchange services, overdose prevention, outreach and testing for HIV, Hepatitis C and STIs (sexually transmitted
Contact us at 978-283-0101 (NSHP) or 978-865-3924 (One Stop) for information or services. healthproject.org