About Hep C/HCV Services
Shanti’s services for individuals living with hepatitis C, HIV, or HIV/HCV co-infection are designed to provide:
- The latest health information on hepatitis C (HCV) infection & treatment, and how to support immune system functioning, enhance health outcomes, and increase quality of life before, during, or after treatment or transplant.
- Workshops that teach approaches to increasing HCV treatment success and tolerability of treatment and side effects that are based on the principles of mind-body medicine.
- Emotional and practical support through peer support groups, individual health counseling, and the Shanti Peer Support Volunteer Program.
Shanti Peer Support Volunteer Program
Shanti peer support volunteers are trained in the Shanti Model of Peer Support. Volunteers are then matched with a single client, and provide weekly emotional and/or practical support, based on the individual client’s needs. Emotional and practical support is especially useful for individuals undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C, as the 48-week therapy can produce moderate side effects including physical fatigue, nausea, trouble concentrating (sometimes called ‘chemo-brain’), and depression. Practical Support may include assisting with laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, medication pick-up and delivery, and assisting with the completion of forms related to housing, disability, medical and mental health services, etc.
Individual Health Counseling
Shanti offers individual health counseling for people who are interested in making health-supporting changes in their lives. The goal of individual health counseling is to support clients in developing health-protective routines, moderating the side effects for those on HCV treatment, and addressing the psychological, social, and biological Cofactors that can impact overall health and well-being. Although individual health counseling is emotionally supportive and caring, it is not psychotherapy. Referrals for mental health counseling can be made during your health counseling session.
Treatment Education and Peer Support Groups
Research shows trusted support with peers can reduce stigma, isolation, depression, and anxiety among people living with Hepatitis C or Hepatitis C/HIV co-infection. Trusted support can also reduce stress and promote HCV treatment success, and increase tolerability of treatment & side effects. In Shanti’s Peer Support Groups, participants use the Shanti model of peer support to share their knowledge and experience of living with HCV or HIV/HCV co-infection with other HCV+ or co-infected individuals to build lasting trusted emotional and practical support with each other. All groups are facilitated by an experienced health educator who specializes in providing knowledge and support relating to both HIV
and hepatitis C.
The L.I.F.E. Program® for individuals living with HIV/Hepatitis C Co-infection
These effective 12-week workshops are designed for gay/bi men living with HIV/HCV co-infection. Workshops provide participants with the knowledge, motivation, skills, and support necessary to make lasting changes in health behaviors that can support immune system functioning and increase quality of life, success of treatment, and tolerability of treatment & side-effects. These groups are appropriate for all co-infected individuals, whether newly diagnosed, in treatment, or pre- or post- treatment or transplant.