LIVING WITH HIV
Since the first AIDS case was diagnosed in 1981, more than 40 million people world-wide have become infected with HIV. As yet, there is no vaccine, no cure and HIV and AIDS are now part of daily life everywhere. It is estimated that over 3,600 people in the Ottawa area are infected with HIV. One quarter of those people have not yet been diagnosed.
Drug therapies introduced in 1996 have slowed the progress of the virus and reduced death rates, people are now living with HIV/AIDS. New models of community care, such as those we provide at Bruce House, are therefore required as the needs of People Living with HIV/AIDS change.
The needs of our clients are diverse and ever-changing; those with histories of homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse particularly require access to secure, affordable and appropriate housing. Studies have shown that stable housing promotes improved health status, increases community participation, improves life skills management, and increases capacity for some PHAs to return to work and social activities. Stable housing is the cornerstone of HIV/AIDS treatment.
Bruce House residents are all diversified and unique, but all require appropriate housing and support. They include a cross-section of our local community representing those who wish to live in an independent setting or in a group residence providing twenty four hour care. Often these people lack access to traditional resources, face rejection from family and friends, and encounter emotional problems associated with their situation.
At Bruce House we provide the resources and skill development to live quality lives with empowerment and independence. We can help people die with dignity, and we support people in living life with dignity.