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Sí a la Vida

Instituto Familiar de la Raza established the first Latino/Chicano-specific HIV program in San Francisco in 1985. Today, Si a la Vida –Integrated HIV Services provides a range of culturally-based services for Latinos at risk of infection, and those living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.

Two Sí a la Vida clients The Latino community faces many various health disparities in San Francisco and throughout the country. Sí a la Vida works to ensure that HIV does not harm any segment of our San Francisco community. Sí a la Vida provides an integrated set of HIV services in response to community need. The program is committed to: reducing the number of new cases of HIV in the San Francisco Latino community, increasing access to health and social services for both HIV-negative and positive clients, and reducing the stigma associated with HIV status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Health empowerment and harm reduction are at the center of Sí a la Vida’s work. Helping HIV-negative clients learn how to prevent HIV and helping HIV-positive clients learn to live with HIV are part of an overall effort to promote the health and well-being of our community. Sí a la Vida collaborates with Mission Neighborhood Health Center to provide increased access to services via various access points from their respective sites. In the past year, the two organizations entered into a joint venture to establish the Latino Wellness Center to provide increased accessibility to Latinos at risk for HIV.

Sí a la Vida provides case management and mental health services at IFR’s main site at 2919 Mission Street and at Clínica Esperanza at 240 Shotwell Street. All other services are provided at the Latino Wellness Center at 1663 Mission Street, Suite 603.

Sí a la Vida

Sí a la Vida provides the following community programs and services:

  • Acupuncture Clinic: Open to all eligible Latinos(as) registered in any of the Si a La Vida programs. This free acupuncture service is held twice a month at Instituto Familiar de la Raza. Clients require an appointment to attend the clinic. To schedule an appointment please contact Instituto Familiar de la Raza at 415-229-0500 and ask to speak to the Si a La Vida case manager. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • One-on-One Sexual Health/HIV Education Sessions: This drop-in service is open to Latino gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men, and transwomen. Judgment-free sessions aim to help individuals address factors that place them at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Service approaches may include: answering questions regarding sex, HIV and psychosocial topics; an assessment of risk factors; developing a risk reduction plan; promoting self-empowerment; and linking clients to immigration, medical, mental health and support services, etc. Free condoms and lubricant are provided to clients. Drop-in sessions are held daily at the Latino Wellness Center. (See time information under the Program Activities tab).
  • Rapid HIV Testing –On Demand: Free confidential rapid HIV testing is provided to Latino gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men, and transwomen in a non-clinic setting, with little or no wait time. Free HIV Testing is available daily at the Latino Wellness Center. (See time information under the Program Activities tab).
  • Chicas Trans Program: These charlas (interactive groups) are open to Latina transgender/transsexual women, and those who are in the process of gender transition. The group is facilitated in Spanish and offers a safe, supportive space to increase social connections, develop community and share or learn about risk reduction practices and health, employment, and social and legal resources. Chicas Trans groups are held weekly at the Latino Wellness Center, and at the San Francisco County Jail. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • ACA Entre Nos (Prevention with Positives): This group is open to all HIV-positive Latinos(as). The Spanish language group is based on Art-making, Community-building and accessing services and support. ACA Entre Nos is held weekly at Instituto Familiar de la Raza. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • PROMISE: This community-level program is open to Latino gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men, and transwomen. PROMISE is a self-empowerment, community mobilization program that aims to advance messages that promote HIV prevention, and fight stigma. Peer Advocate trainings with stipends are provided for participants. The use of multimedia materials to increase HIV testing and safer sex practices are used in this program. PROMISE is held on a weekly basis at the Latino Wellness Center. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • PROMESA: PROMESA is a San Francisco/Bay Area program for Latino/a LGBTQQ youth ages 14 to 19 that seeks to harbor a safe space for its participants to build community and share their experiences as Latino/a LGBTQQ youth. PROMESA is held on a weekly basis at Instituto Familiar de la Raza. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • Circulo de Amigos/Circle of Friends (HIV+): A support group for HIV positive Latinos(as) who use substances or want support with their recovery. Open to all sexual orientation and gender identities. Facilitated by a trained counselor. Circulo de Amigos is held on a weekly basis at the Latino Wellness Center. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • Caminando Juntos/A Shared Journey (HIV+): Open to all eligible HIV positive Latinos(as) registered as clients under HIV Case Management services. This mental health group uses group counseling to help improve daily functioning, health and wellbeing. Facilitated in Spanish by a Mental Health Specialist. Caminando Juntos is held 4 times per year in 8 week-cohort cycles at Instituto Familiar de la Raza. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • Noche Social/Social Night: A chance for gay/bisexual Latino men to make new friends, feel connected to the community and share or learn harm reduction tips. Occasional outdoor activities and special events. Noche Social is held on a weekly basis at the Latino Wellness Center. (See time and date information under the Program Activities tab).
  • HIV Case Management: Open to HIV-positive Latinos(as) of all ages, sexual orientations and gender identities, HIV case management provides clients with an assessment of medical, mental health, and practical needs. Ongoing assistance is provided to help clients prepare and adhere to HIV treatment and coordinating health services. Clients must be San Francisco residents, low income, and uninsured or underinsured. Clients may be referred by their providers or other San Francisco organizations or may be self-referred. To schedule an intake appointment or for more information contact Instituto Familiar de la Raza at 415-229-0500 and ask to speak to the Si a La Vida case manager.
  • HIV Outpatient Mental Health Services: Open to HIV-positive Latino of all ages, sexual orientations and gender identities, HIV outpatient mental health services include individual and group psychotherapy and substance abuse counseling. Services assist clients improve daily functioning and improve mental health and wellbeing. Psychiatric evaluation and medication management services are also available. Clients must be San Francisco residents, low income, and uninsured or underinsured. To schedule an intake appointment or for more information contact Instituto Familiar de la Raza at 415-229-0500 and ask to speak to the Si a La Vida case manager.

Si a la Vida updates its activities on a monthly basis. Be sure to visit us often to obtain the most recent information on our programs. To see a description of the activities listed below, click on the Program Services tab.

Activities in September

Activities at The Latino Wellness Center
  • September 1, 8 & 15: Trans Girls Program, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
  • September 22 & 28: Trans Girls Program, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • September 2, 9, 16, 23 & 29: Social Night, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
  • September 6, 13, 20 & 26: Circle of Friends (HIV+), 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • September 6, 13, 20 & 26: PROMISE, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Activities at Instituto Familiar de La Raza
  • September 1, 8, 15, 22 & 28: PROMESA, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • September 7, 14, 21 & 27: Prevention with Positives (ACA Entre Nos, HIV+), 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • September 19: Acupuncture Clinic, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

Activities in October

Activities at The Latino Wellness Center
  • October 4, 11, 18 & 25: Circle of Friends (HIV+), 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • October 4, 11, 18 & 25: PROMISE, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • October 6, 13 & 20: Trans Girls Program, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
  • October 27: Trans Girls Program, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • October 7, 21 & 28: Social Night, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
Activities at Instituto Familiar de La Raza
  • October 3 & 24: Acupuncture Clinic, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • October 5, 12, 19 & 26: Prevention with Positives (ACA Entre Nos, HIV+), 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • October 6, 13, 20 & 27: PROMESA, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • October 6, 13, 20 & 27:A Shared Journey, Group Therapy for Positives (Caminando Juntos, HIV+), 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • October 14:Special Event: National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Daily Drop-In Services
  • One-on-One Sexual Health/HIV Education Drop-in health counseling sessions are available for gay and bisexual men, men who have sex with men, and transwomen. This service assists individuals to address factors that place them at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Service approaches may include: answering questions regarding sex, HIV and psychosocial topics; an assessment of risk factors; developing a risk reduction plan; and linking clients to other services. Free condoms and lubricant are provided to clients. Drop-in health counseling can be accessed at any time Monday to Friday 12-6 at the Latino Wellness Center (1663 Mission Street, Suite 603).
  • Rapid HIV Testing On Demand We provide confidential testing at any time Monday and Friday 10-5, Tuesday and Thursday 10-6 and Wednesday 10-8, in a non-medical setting. Testing is provided at the Latino Wellness Center (1663 Mission Street, Suite 603).

Stories from Sí a la Vida will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

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