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A Celebration of Life and Hope for HIV/AIDS

by James Heller 20. November 2009 11:03

It doesn’t seem very long ago that a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS came with a sense of hopelessness.  Now the diagnosis can come with a motivation to live healthier and extend life.  And when being HIV positive is paired with drug addiction or alcoholism, hope and life must be celebrated.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles understands this and provides comprehensive HIV services as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  It is important for HIV positive patients to receive a continuum of care starting as soon as they enter drug or alcohol detox.  It is also important to celebrate life, as we have for several years now, by holding a World AIDS Day event.

We welcome you to join us for our World AIDS Day event, and celebrate life.  The event will include keynote speakers, live performances, food, prizes and more as we celebrate our continued fight for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.  Here is the information:

Date:          December 1, 2009
Time:         10am – Noon
Location:    18646 Oxnard St, Tarzana, CA  91356 <click for map>


World AIDS Day originated through the World Health Organization in 1988 and later turned over to the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) in 2005.  The theme for 2009, as it has been since the WAC took the reins, is “Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise” with the subtitle “I Am…”

World AIDS Day is meant to raise awareness and money with the goal of defeating the deadly disease.  
Great progress has been made in extending the lives of HIV positive individuals, but we have a long way to go.  Public awareness about the virus is still lacking, and we still need to at least find a vaccine.

Slogans for 2009 events are “I am accepted”, “I am getting treatment”, and “I am well”.  They promote a positive attitude for all to see that those who are HIV positive can still lead productive lives.  With medication and treatment they can all contribute to society like anyone else.  There are still those in the general public who don’t know this, and take a fear-based approach to HIV/AIDS.

Advancements in medications and treatment for HIV/AIDS have been great over the past two decades.  Through healthy habits, medication, and treatment, individuals can live long and fruitful lives with HIV.  But it is expensive to live with HIV because of the high medical expenses.  So stopping the virus in its tracks is the ultimate goal of researchers.

For many years, researchers have tried to contain this virus.  The problem is that the virus mutates, which makes developing a vaccine very difficult.  Recent progress has been made in finding commonalities in all strains of the virus, opening the door to the discovery of a vaccine.  Research needs to continue to be funded through government and private grants so this can happen.

If you would like more details on the event, or need help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence and HIV, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

HIV Services - Brochure

by James Heller 9. November 2009 14:56
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is a respected provider of HIV services.  As part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment, we know these services are valuable to those who are also infected with HIV.  

We do not only treat HIV, drug addiction, and alcoholism.  We also provide housing, education, and counseling, along with many other services.  Our goal is to teach those with HIV how that they can live a productive life in sobriety.

For detailed information about our HIV Services, please click on the link below to view our brochure.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence or drug addiction, and is HIV positive, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.


Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Testimonial: HIV Positive and Recovering from Drug Addiction

by James Heller 16. October 2009 07:23
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles greatly appreciates the many patient testimonials we receive.  In the interest of confidentiality and patient privacy, we go to great lengths before posting them for public viewing, so we couldn’t possibly show all of them.  Sometimes former patients will make their relationship with us public, which gives us a chance to show the positive results of the work we do.

The Daily Sundial of California State University, Northridge, posted an article about a former patient of Tarzana Treatment Centers.  While his name and picture are used the story, we will not.  The story is very informative about how he deals with being HIV positive, and his struggles with drug addiction.

In a follow-up interview with us, though, he expressed a desire to paint a clearer picture of his life in recovery and experience with Tarzana Treatment Centers.  His joy lies in recovery and he would like people to know that he does not dwell in the past, but instead uses his experiences to help others.

His hopeful optimism was evident when he spoke of the status of the relationship he has with his children.  While it is still in the rebuilding phase, and may be for some time, they are as open to moving forward and having dad back in their lives.  He shares daily conversations with them through text messages, and a phone call when possible, since they live out of state.

Future goals for this man in recovery include educating the HIV positive as well as non-positive population, and help to remove the stigma surrounding the disease.  He is currently studying Health Education at CSUN, and speaks for Positively Speaking.  He also works with the Tarzana Treatment Centers Community Advisory Board.

Staying active toward his goals proves to help in his own recovery from drug addiction.  He is an example of how positive behavior contributes to long-term recovery.  Due to the circumstances of his life, he is currently on disability and looks forward to the day that he can get back to work and get off of government assistance.  He is always looking forward.

While success in recovery greatly depends on an individual’s motivation, alcohol and drug treatment is often needed to encourage it or for that which is lacking.  For this patient, his motivation came from being tired of chasing a habit.  Knowing the problems his addiction had caused in his life led him to a desperate desire for help.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers was eager, as always, to make available everything he needed to get back on his feet and begin a new life.  “Tarzana Treatment Centers is amazing!” is all he could say to describe our part in his recovery.  He spoke highly of Charlon Davison, saying she was “perfect” when it came to leading him gently towards recovery and taking care of his new health needs.

We wish all of our former patients well, and continued recovery.  This gentleman is a fine example of how recovering individuals contribute positively to society, and are true assets.  Seeing former patients turn a downward spiraling life around makes all of our work worthwhile.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a wide range of HIV services as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one are HIV positive and need help with alcoholism or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Special Needs in Alcohol and Drug Treatment

by James Heller 6. October 2009 14:00
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is committed to providing integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  This means that when patients enter treatment in one of our facilities, they will have access to the many other healthcare services we offer.  And more access to services from one provider means better outcomes in alcohol and drug treatment.

A recent report by California State University, Long Beach, Department of Criminal Justice to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation highlighted that we are truly committed to success in treatment.  The study paid close attention to several details in substance abuse treatment, and noted specifically how we help patients with special needs.

In particular, Tarzana Treatment Centers understands the importance in making all levels of mental health treatment available to our patients with co-occurring disorders.  We were noted in the report as being “…the most capable program to address co-occurring disorders statewide.  The program is efficient, organized, and well-run despite the fact that they serve some of the most high-needs clients in the state.”

Our alcohol and drug treatment program is also recognized as providing the highest level of care in HIV Services, as mentioned in the report.  These services include education, specialized primary care, housing, and mental health services, among many others.  Patients can be referred to services as early as their first day in our medical detoxification unit.

We are continually enhancing and expanding programs so that patients can count on us for the services they need.  As drug use trends change, drug treatment modules must be altered and added.  It was stated twice in the report that we have an answer to the rise in methamphetamine addiction rates.
 
Cognitive deficits that result from methamphetamine addiction can last up to two years after use is stopped.  While the disease of addiction has many constants where treatment is concerned, meth users need to re-learn memory skills and may require visual cues.  We assess patients entering methamphetamine treatment for needs in these areas and treat accordingly.

Another example in this area that was not on the report is the recent changes in teen drug use trends.  Teen prescription drug abuse is rapidly growing.  At the same time, perceptions among adolescents that these drugs risk little harm are on the rise.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers takes steps to slow these trends through treatment, family groups, and education.  Our expertise in prescription drug detox has proven to be valuable as demand has increased for adolescent drug detox.  The ability to provide both medical detoxification and youth alcohol and drug treatment improves outcomes for long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, you can count on Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles to provide all of the services you need.  Our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare goes far beyond what has been written in this article.  For more information, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Searching for an End to AIDS

by James Heller 7. August 2009 08:03
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides HIV/AIDS services as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  Like anyone else, we would love to see a cure for the virus.  But at this time it is important that individuals with HIV/AIDS can look to us for alcohol and drug detox and treatment, as well as housing and resources that can help them live with the virus.  And hope is always on the horizon.

Individuals who use alcohol and drugs are at high risk of acquiring the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which is virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  People with alcohol dependence or drug addiction may engage in high risk unprotected sexual behavior or actively share syringes which can transmit the virus from one person to another.  

Although HIV/AIDS is an incurable and fatal disease, modern science has allowed doctors to successfully treat patients, extending life for years and decades.  But there is still no cure. That means there is nothing that modern science can do to ensure that an HIV-positive or AIDS diagnosed person does not die prematurely from HIV/AIDS related causes.

One thing that scientists are looking into is an HIV vaccine. To make the vaccine, scientists take bits of HIV, make changes to the virus, and then use it in a vaccine. There is no whole HIV in the vaccine; you cannot get HIV from the vaccine.

Here are four possible ways the HIV vaccine may work:  

1. Sterilizing Immunity
This is a vaccine that would make it impossible for the vaccinated person to both get HIV, and to pass it on to others. Many routine vaccines work this way.

2. Transient Infection
With this vaccine a person will get HIV, but the body will be able to fight off the virus. It might be possible to give HIV to others for a short period of time. This vaccine would extend lives of people infected with HIV.

3. Long Term Controlled Infection
With this vaccine a person could still get HIV, but it would be a very mild, and would be difficult, or impossible, to give the virus to anyone else. This vaccine would also extend the lives of people infected with HIV

4. Altruistic Vaccine
This vaccine would have no effect for people that were vaccinated, but it would prevent vaccinated people from spreading HIV to others.

The sites below provide more information, as well as clinics where you can get involved in Clinical Trials to test HIV vaccines.

If you want to learn more about HIV and AIDS, look here:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/qa/definitions.htm


If you want to get involved in clinical trials for vaccines, go here:
HIV Vaccine Trial Network  
http://www.hvtn.org/index.html

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

HIV Testing Week

by James Heller 23. June 2009 10:05
Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating in Los Angeles County’s HIV Testing Week.  Our mobile testing unit will be at 2 locations offering free and confidential HIV tests, Monday and Friday.  

The Home Depot, 8326 Balboa Place - Monday, June 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Home Depot, 1160 Sherman Way - Friday, June 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CBS2 News in Los Angeles has provided a list of all locations and times where free HIV testing will be available this week.  Link to http://cbs2.com/tv/los.angeles.HIV.2.1054155.html for more information.  Also, stay tuned to CBS2 News this week as they present a 4 part series on HIV Testing Week.

If you are not able to be at any of the locations this week, Tarzana Treatment Centers offers HIV testing at our central facility in Tarzana every week.  Contact us at 888-777-8565 for the schedule and further information.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides a full range of HIV services to the public.  Along with primary care for HIV/AIDS, we provide alcohol and drug detox and treatment, housing, and mental health treatment.  HIV services are a part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.

US Veterans Alcohol, Drug, and HIV/AIDS Treatment

by James Heller 11. June 2009 14:45
US veterans with HIV/AIDS need to take special care when it comes to alcohol or drug abuse.  Their health can be seriously affected if they binge drink or use illegal drugs.  Alcohol or drug treatment should be a consideration for these individuals even in mild substance abuse cases.

Due to the high level of care that HIV/AIDS requires, alcohol and drug treatment needs to come from a provider with the resources to do both.  Also, mental health treatment must be available to those who need it since the patient may suffer trauma due to combat and HIV/AIDS.  Very few alcohol and drug treatment centers offer this type of integrated behavioral healthcare.

Tarzana Treatment Centers is well known for providing the highest standard of treatment for HIV/AIDS as part of our goal to offer integrated behavioral healthcare.  Our alcohol and drug treatment programs staff mental health professionals as well as HIV/AIDS Specialists.  Your recovery begins the moment you enter alcohol or drug detox.

Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, or any other deployment, may want to read an article published by The US Department of Veterans Affairs.  A preview has been provided below from the VA website.

-- Begin external content --

Drinking too much alcohol can weaken your immune system. A weaker immune system will have a harder time fighting off common infections (such as a cold), as well as AIDS-related infections. A weaker immune system also increases the chance that you will experience more side effects from your HIV medications.

Smoking marijuana (pot) or any other drug irritates the lungs. You may be more likely to get serious lung infections, such as pneumonia.

Other common recreational drugs, such as cocaine or crystal methamphetamine (also known as "meth" or "speed" or "crank" and "Tina"), can leave your body dehydrated and exhausted, as well as lead to skin irritation. All of these things can make it easier for you to get infections.

The organ in your body that alcohol and other drugs affect most is your liver. The liver rounds up waste from chemicals that you put in your body. Those chemicals include recreational drugs as well as prescription drugs, such as your HIV medications. A weaker liver means less efficient "housekeeping" and, probably, a weaker you.

-- Source: http://www.hiv.va.gov/vahiv?page=alc-01-01

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.