Healthcare Crisis: Sadhana Chalasani Advocates for Homeless Shelters to Play Role in AIDS Prevention

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Founder of a grassroots AIDS advocacy program, Sadhana Chalasani supports the efforts of Friends for Life, a non-profit organization that is in the process of providing housing for homeless AIDS victims.

Treating HIV and AIDS is a difficult journey, one that requires medication and a great deal of care. According to an article by Sara Patterson, posted by The Commercial Appeal, HIV/AIDS can be particularly devastating for the homeless population, which suffers from a high rate of HIV/AIDS and has little to no access to healthcare resources. Sadhana Chalasani, the founder of a grassroots AIDS advocacy program in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, has recently learned of the efforts of Friends for Life. An organization that provides housing to homeless HIV/AIDS victims, Friends for Life has Sadhana Chalasani's support as it pushes forward with a new initiative.

According to Patterson's article, Friends for Life is involved in a 1.3 million dollar project that provides apartment homes to homeless individuals who have HIV/AIDS. This project has been funded by federal, state and local grants, as well as private donations. The need for such an initiative was made clear by a recent report, which, according to Patterson, "named homelessness as both a cause and effect of HIV/AIDS [...] rates of HIV infection among homeless people are about 16 times higher than in the general population and at least half living with the virus report experiencing homelessness or housing instability following diagnosis."

Sadhana Chalasani recognizes that the risk posed by homelessness is indeed great. In fact, the work of Friends for Life has inspired her to continue to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and the many ways in which people can prevent and address this condition. Homeless individuals who are fighting HIV/AIDS may find doing so in traditional homeless shelters a bit difficult. The housing solution that Friends for Life has developed is one that allows for healing, not just protection against the elements. Sadhana Chalasani advocates the efforts of this non-profit organization, which, so far, have proven successful.

This success stems not only from the ability to provide shelter to homeless individuals who have HIV/AIDS, but to help them create new lives for themselves. Patterson reports that one particular patient, who prefers to remain anonymous, has overcome a substance addiction and is now a volunteer for the non-profit.

Sadhana Chalasani and Friends for Life understand that HIV/AIDS and homelessness are pervasive issues in today's society. No initiative will completely eradicate these problems; however, the work that Sadhana Chalasani and the volunteers at Friends for Life have been doing has certainly made a positive impact on their respective communities.

ABOUT:
Sadhana Chalasani is a high school student who dedicates a great deal of her time to charitable causes. She has spearheaded the creation of both a grassroots AIDS advocacy program and Pink Ribbon Club, an organization promoting breast cancer awareness. Through her work, Sadhana Chalasani has contributed to a shift in the perception of AIDS and breast cancer among her peers.

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Michael McGarety
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