Shanti Project

About HIV/AIDS Services

Shanti Volunteer and ClientShanti's continuum of services for people living with HIV/AIDS are designed to provide:

  • Knowledge about HIV disease and treatment, and how to enhance health outcomes and increase quality of life, based on the latest medical research and health information.
  • Client Advocacy to assist navigation through the health care system.
  • Emotional and practical support through the Drop-in Service Center, peer support groups, individual health counseling, and the Shanti Peer Support Volunteer Program.
  • Health-enhancement workshops that support clients in addressing the biological, psychological, and social issues that can impact overall health and quality of life.

Client Services

The Drop-in Service Center.
Open Tuesday through Thursday, 9:30 AM — 12:30 PM.


The Drop-in Service Center is a comfortable and safe gathering place where clients can drop-in and:

  • Meet and connect with peers.
  • Receive emotional and practical support from a Client Advocate, or Shanti Peer Support Volunteer.
  • Access resource materials or referrals regarding HIV medication/treatment trials and studies, housing, medical and mental health care, food and nutrition, support groups, counseling, free showers, and other community services in San Francisco.
  • Access complimentary local phone service, coffee and pastries (when available), clothing and books (when available).
  • Just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

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. 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 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.

Client Advocacy
Client Advocates have intimate knowledge and experience with HIV disease and treatment, other HIV-related health issues, health-enhancement strategies, and navigation through health care system for persons with HIV/AIDS, and support clients by:

  • Assisting clients in evaluating their needs, including those related to medical or mental health care, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, substance use treatment, and benefits, and connecting clients with the appropriate vital support services.
  • Providing support with treatment adherence or medical appointment compliance (including accompanying clients to medical appointments, and advocating with medical providers).
  • Providing harm reduction counseling.
  • Providing general emotional and practical support, including assistance with medication pick-up and delivery and completion of forms related to housing, disability, medical and mental health services, etc.
Shanti's Client Advocates are available to assist clients at Shanti's Drop-in Service Center Tuesday through Thursday, 9:30 AM—12:30 PM, as well as at Black Coalition on AIDS, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, San Francisco General Hospital, and St. Mary's Hospital. For more information regarding Peer Advocacy, contact (415) 674-4726.

Groups and Workshops
Shanti offers a number of support groups, seminars, and workshops for individuals living with HIV. Our groups address a variety of goals, including building support among peers, increasing knowledge about HIV, treatment, and wellness, and improving psychological and physical health outcomes.

Drop-In Groups

L.I.F.E. Health Chat
A weekly drop-in group for individuals living with HIV, designed to give participants emotional and practical support to deal with life's everyday challenges and manage their health and wellness.
Vent
A weekly drop-in group for women and men of color who are living with HIV, designed to give participants emotional and practical support to deal with life's everyday challenges and manage their health and wellness.
WE: Women Experiencing
A weekly drop-in group for women living with HIV, designed to give participants emotional and practical support to deal with life's everyday challenges and manage their health and wellness.
L.I.F.E. Experience
L.I.F.E. Experience is more than just a weekly discussion group. We are a trusted social network of gay/bi HIV+ men and our friends and partners who gather to explore topics that are important to us, through action-oriented activities that draw on our experiences. We start each gathering with a potluck dinner (we provide the main course, and you bring a side dish, beverage, or a snack).
Yoga for Immunity and Wellness
A weekly restorative hatha yoga class that is ideal for anyone with an HIV, cancer, or other illness diagnosis. You can expect easeful postures, deep relaxation, & breathing practices that are suitable for students at any level, including those new to yoga; and accessible teachings & simple techniques designed to reduce stress, support immune system functioning, & enhance overall health & wellbeing.

Structured Groups

L.I.F.E. Health Workshops
Effective 12 or 16-week health-enhancement workshops designed for individuals living with HIV. 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 enhance physical, mental, and social health, and quality of life. Specialized workshops for women or gay/bi men are available in English and Spanish.
Acute Survivors Support
A weekly support group for gay/bi men who continue to survive & thrive with HIV/HCV co-infection. This group provides information about Cofactors, or issues that impact immune functioning, experiential exercises that encourage clients to gain awareness of their own performance on health-related issues, and facilitated peer support to eliminate the isolation and stigma of co-infected status. This group is appropriate for people who are in HCV treatment, as well as those who are pre- or -post treatment or transplant.
L.I.F.E. Institute Seminar Series
Quarterly full-day seminars, designed to support participants and graduates of the L.I.F.E. Health Workshop in deepening personal growth and health-enhancement through action-oriented engagement and peer support. Each seminar focuses on one of the 26 biological, psychological, and social issues that impact immune functioning and wellness (such as trusted support, self-assertiveness, and nutrition & exercise).
L.I.F.E. Goes On
Seasonal activities for participants and graduates of the L.I.F.E. Health Workshop that explore community-building through altruistic action and service projects.
Peer Volunteer Group
A weekly drop-in group for individuals living with HIV, designed to give participants emotional and practical support to deal with life's everyday challenges and manage their health and wellness.
Coming Soon: Recovering L.I.F.E.
Effective 9-week health-enhancement and relapse-prevention workshops for HIV+ individuals who are recovering from substance abuse and addiction. Workshops provide participants with the knowledge, motivation, skills, and support necessary to make lasting changes in health behaviors that can support immune system functioning, sobriety, and overall health and well-being.

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