LEARNING IMMUNE FUNCTION ENHANCEMENT (L.I.F.E.) INTERVENTIONS

Shanti’s L.I.F.E. Interventions are effective HIV self-management tools based on research in HIV treatment, health promotion, and self management.

L.I.F.E. Interventions include 8-10 week workshops, quarterly 1-day health seminars, monthly activities and events, community events, and 1-on-1 peer health counseling.

The L.I.F.E. Interventions core activity is our multi-week workshop. Throughout the workshop, participants explore their performance on 26 biological, psychological, and social issues, known as Cofactors. By addressing Cofactors, participants receive the motivation, skills, and support necessary to set and reach goals to increase engagement in healthcare, increase adherence to ART (antiretroviral therapy), reduce or eliminate health-risking behaviors, and improve performance on drivers to health outcomes, in order to increase their potential to develop and maintain health. Specifically, participants learn self-care skills, the importance of preventative medicine and treatment, skills to create strong collaborative relationships with their physicians, and tools to prepare for their appointments and support in adhering to health routines and medication schedules. By addressing Cofactors, individuals learn how to do the following: avoid challenges to their immune system with other infections; reduce stressors that impact immune system functioning; and increase the strength and numbers of immune cells in the body to improve health. Additionally, clients improve performance in coping with grief, depression, and survival stress, all of which are known psychosocial drivers of health outcomes.

In addition to the multi-week workshop, the suite of services offered through the L.I.F.E. Interventions include weekly sessions to provide extended self-management tools to our clients who choose to attend, focusing on unique issues faced by our clients. These sessions include the semi-structured educational groups “Health Chat” and L.I.F.E. Experience, an HIV/Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Co-Infection Support Group, and Yoga for HIV+ health. Other activities include “L.I.F.E. Goes On” community-building activities for L.I.F.E. Interventions participants and multi-week workshop graduates. These activities include opportunities to engage in altruistic action and service projects, and to provide psychosocial peer support to other PLWH. We also provide one-on-one strengths-based health counseling to PLWH.