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                              The Red Ribbon News
                              V O L U M E        1 ,   I S S U E    1                                S E P T E M B E R              1 ,   2 0 0 9

                      On behalf of the community plan-           ments. As one of our outreach        planning body. If you would like more
                      ning body known as Consortium 9B,          activities, we have decided to       information about the group or would
                      I would like to welcome you to the         publish a quarterly newsletter to    like to something published, please don’t
                      first recreated issue of The Red Rib-      inform people of the different       hesitate to contact me at (800) 226-5554
                      bon News. Consortium 9B is a               resources and events happening       or
                      newly formed group that meets at           in the community. A big thank        -Cory D’Ambrosio

                      ARC in Mansfield to make sure the          you goes to the folks at NCOAF       Client Outreach Coordinator

                      needs of people living with HIV are        who were gracious enough to let      Ohio AIDS Coalition

                      being met. Members consist of              us use the name “The Red Rib-
                      concerned citizens, community ac-          bon News” for this publication.      Just a Reminder: The views expressed in opinion
                      tivists, case managers, and represen-      We are always looking for new        articles are those of the authors and not necessarily
                      tatives from local health depart-          members to be involved with our
                                                                                                      those of the Ohio AIDS Coalition, AIDS Resource
                                                                                                      Center Ohio, or 9B.

                                    We Are Here For You!                                               The World According
                                                                                                             to Me
                       AIDS Resource Center Ohio is          Our Mansfield location has ser-
                                                                                                     Good Afternoon Everyone! My name is
                       very proud to announce that effec-    viced consumers for the last six
                                                                                                     Andy Anonymous and I’m a HIV-Positive,
                       tive April 1, 2009, linkage to medicalyears with housing assistance
                                                                                                     middle-aged man living in North Central
                       care and essential resources for HIV  and other referral and support
                                                                                                     Ohio; Mansfield, to be exact. I’m hoping
                       positive individuals and their families
                                                             services to include education,
INSIDE THIS                                                                                          that the administrators and caregivers of
                       in ten north central Ohio counties    testing, buddy programs, social
ISSUE:                                                                                               this newsletter will allow me to write a
                       has been provided through our         groups, transportation and refer-
                                                                                                     quarterly column. What would I like the
We Are Here for        Mansfield location at 35 North Park   rals. “Integrating Ryan White
                                                                                                     column to be about? I’d like it to be about a
You               1    Street, Suite 247, Mansfield, 44902.  case management with our hous-
                                                                                                     playground. Now, it’s not going to be your
Stretching Your   3    This funding will address the unmet ing, HIV testing and other ser-           typical playground as it’s often quite a scary
                       health needs of persons living with   vices – and through a single ac-
Grocery Dollar                                                                                       place to visit, especially on one’s own! It’s
                       HIV/AIDS and includes primary         cess point-will provide a much
                                                                                                     the playground in my mind and I’m sure it’s
World AIDS Day    3    health care, medical case manage-     easier, more efficient and more
                                                                                                     like the one you played on as a child. Heck,
Leadership Con-
                       ment, adherence counseling, and       effective utilization of these re-
                                                                                                     it might even be like the playground in your
ference                                                      sources”, states Lori Robinson,
                       other support services. These ten                                             head right now! I hope you’ll be able to
Starting Over     4    counties include Erie, Huron, Knox, Regional Director of the Mans-            laugh and cry with me as we explore the
With HIV               Richland, Ashland, Wyandot, Seneca, field Operation.                          absurdities and injustices of life in rural
                       Crawford, Morrow, and Marion.         According to the ODH surveil-           Ohio as a HIV-Positive person. Be prepared
                       AIDS Resource Center Ohio has         lance data, a reported 283              though, as you might fall and skin your
                       been providing case management,       PLWHAs are living in the ten-           knees and want to blame me for the mishap
                       linkage to core medical care, emer- county region. Of these, two              during the output of my opinions. “Put the
                       gency aid, housing assistance, trans- thirds reside in Richland, Marion       sand down Johnny. It’s not nice to throw sand
                       portation, nutrition services and     and Erie counties. Applying             at Andy Anonymous.” But most of all every-
                       advocacy services to individuals for CDC estimates, an additional 20          one, I hope my playground helps you to
                       the last 25 years in 35 counties of   to 25 (continued on page 2)             feel. (continued on page 2)
            PAGE     2

                               We Are Here For You! Cont’d
                               percent or 55 to 75 persons          services” states Robinson.         access our information online
                               may be HIV-infected, but not         Robinson and her new team of       at
                               yet diagnosed. At the same           case managers and assistants
                               time, only one-fifth of those at     are asking that current clients
                               highest risk for HIV infection       assist us in providing our con-
     “Our biggest concern is   are being tested in any given        tact information to those in
  linkage to care and making   year or being reached with           need. For more information
      sure that everyone is    the most effective prevention        about AIDS Resource Center
  connected with us and with   strategies. “Our biggest con-        Ohio call toll free and confi-
    services” -Lori Robinson   cern is linkage to care and          dentially at 1-800-252-0827
                               making sure that everyone is         and/or directly to Mansfield at
                               connected with us and with           419-525-2437. You can also

                               The World According to Me Cont’d
                               I’ve been running from my            ship was the only one I was        all the times before, the inevi-
                               feelings for a lifetime and since    able to find, but please send a    table always occurs, conse-
                               moving back to Ohio from out         letter to the editor if you        quences for my actions and
                               West a few years back, my            know of any others! I suspect      missed doses of my life-
        “I’ve been             playground now requires re-          at least a column or two will      sustaining medications.” Name
                               pair work and continuing main-       be devoted to what I choose        your addiction people! There’s
      running from             tenance. I’ve been pretty            to call, a loving God. A God       drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shop-
                               “pissed-off” and “fired-up”          who, unfortunately, has quite a    ping, being “right” all the time,
      my feelings for          lately during play-time and I        few children out in these parts    we’ve all got one….identify
                               often require a “time-out”!          that can’t play nicely and that    your poison and I’m sure we’ll
      a lifetime…”             “WOW!” was about all I could         want to dictate what type of       chat about it!
                               say the first few months after       monkey bars you can have in
                               moving back to Ohio. Talk            your playground. Blah, blah,        Well folks, that’s my story and
                               about culture shock!! It’s been      blah… Tune in next issue           I’m sticking to it! Welcome to
                               quite an uncomfortable (to say       when I’ll be attempting to re-     Andy’s playground! Yee Haw!
                               the least) journey back in time      move all the hatred and ugli-      I'm happy to say that my play-
                               to the 1980’s when HIV first         ness from the area, we call        ground is quite imperfect, is
                               landed on our beautiful shores,      home, in 50 key strokes or         continually under construction,
                               men were men, and women              less! Local media critics are      and requires supportive play
                               knew their place in the tradi-       deeming it as, “One FABU           friends in order for its equip-
                               tional family “values” house-        show to tune into!” Yee Haw!       ment not to rust! “Hold on
                               hold!                                                                   kiddies, it’s going to be a bumpy
                                                                    “How did you deal with all         ride!” and always remember
                               “They still have a vengeful, mean-   those stirred-up feelings when     that “everyone is entitled to
                               spirited, judgmental, pissed-off,    you first moved here, Andy         their own opinion, even if it is
                               bearded, Caucasian, male, killing-   Anonymous?” “Well, cute little     wrong!” “OUCH, Andy!”
                               machine of a God out here!” I        girl with the freckles and pony-   -Andy Anonymous
                               said to a friend 2 years ago         tail, I ceased feeling via poor
                               when I was desperately trying        life choices and mass quantities
                               to find a loving, supportive and     of self-administered alcohol
                               “Christ-Like” spiritual commu-       and drugs.” “OH NO! My, my
                               nity in the area. Peace Fellow-      Andy Anonymous”! “And, like

VOLUME           1,     ISSUE      1                                                                                                             PAGE       3

Beef Enchiladas                                    submitted by Tom Blankenship Jr.

                                        1 large onion                                 large onion (chopped) and taco seasoning. Simmer until wa-
                                        1 green pepper                                ter is evaporated then set aside.

                                        1 large tomato                                3. Soften tortillas over open flame or skillet.
                                                                                      4. Fill each tortilla with 2 tbs of ground beef and bean mix-
                                        1 large can of mild enchilada sauce           ture, cheese, and onions. Roll tortillas and place in 9 X 12
                                        1 package corn tortillas                      casserole dish side by side.
                                        Lettuce                                       5. Sprinkle other half of onions and meat mixture on top of
                                        Cilantro                                      rolled tortillas. Use the other lb of sharp cheddar cheese to
                                                                                      cover the enchiladas
                                        Sour cream
                                                                                      6. Bake in oven 20 minutes at 350 degrees
Ingredients (serves 4-6):               Directions:
                                                                                      7. Prepare box of Zattaran’s red beans and rice while enchi-
1 1/2 lbs ground beef                   1. In saucepan brown 1 1/2 lbs of
                                        ground beef in frying pan and drain           ladas are baking.
1 can red kidney beans                                                                8. Serve immediately with chopped tomato, lettuce, cilantro,
                                        excess grease.
2 lb bag shredded sharp cheddar                                                       and sour cream
                                        2. Add meat with one can of kid-
cheese                                  ney beans (drained), 1/2 cup of
                                                                                      * Use remaining tortillas for breakfast burritos (roll up scrambled
1 package of Taco seasoning             water, 1 chopped green pepper, 1/2
                                                                                      eggs, green peeper, onions, and cheese)

Stretching Your Grocery Dollar
Shopping for groceries for your         This will help prevent you from                  Clip Coupons
family can be a challenge, especially   making impulse purchases.
                                                                                      Using coupons can help you
if you are on a fixed income. Here
                                           Try to limit your grocery                save 10% or more on your food
are some tips for getting the most
                                             shopping to once a week or               budget. Just make sure you are
bang out of your grocery buck:
                                             less                                     purchasing an item that you will
   Make a Shopping List                                                             actually use.
                                        Shopping at the same store more
Make a shopping list and stick to it!   than once a week is a waste of your              Use Leftovers
This is one of the best ways to cut     time and gas. Try to get everything
                                                                                      Leftovers can be revamped into
back on spending since you can plan     you need in one trip.
                                                                                      tasty casseroles, soups, and
your meals around store specials
                                           Check newspaper ads for                  lunches.
and resist impulse buys.
                                             special sales                            Check out for
   Never shop when you are
                                        Planning your meals around specials           meal planning and more grocery
     hungry or tired                    and seasonal foods can help you               shopping tips.
                                        save money.

Save the Date: World AIDS Day Leadership Conference
The Ohio AIDS Coalition, in col-        AIDS Day Leadership Conference.               Regional Meeting and dinner                 for people living with
laboration with the HIV CARE            The Conference will be held No-               for people living with HIV/                 HIV/AIDS. For addi-
Services Section and the HIV/STD/       vember 16-17, 2009 at the Ramada              AIDS on Sunday, November                    tional information,
AVH Prevention Program Depart-          Plaza Hotel in Columbus. Continu-             15th, before the Conference.                please contact Kevin
ment of Health and the Pennsyl-         ing education credits will be avail-          There is no cost to attend the din-         Sullivan at the Ohio
vania/Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education       able. The National Association                ner or conference but registration          AIDS Coalition: 1-800-
and Training Center, is pleased to      of People with AIDS                           is required. A limited amount of            226-5554.
announce the combined World             (NAPWA) will be hosting a                     free hotel rooms will be available
                                                                                                                                             PAGE       4

                        Starting Over With HIV and Turning the Page

  President Obama declared it was time for a      enjoyed our weekends, and we didn't even own            ing all three groups together for special
change and so much is changing, but what          an appointment book?                                    events such as our Halloween party and
about me? A person living with HIV. There                                                                 a Christmas Dinner. The support groups
                                                    This year I began to look at myself and my life. I    are a start for bringing people together
are good changes as far as people not dying
                                                  decided that even though I am HIV infected, and I       in our individual areas who share the HIV
because of the manageability of the HIV
                                                  can expect to get sick sometimes, I needed a            experience. By talking and sharing we can
virus. Some bad changes are that HIV is not
                                                  change myself. Physically I know I have my limita-      become a very strong area within our
as feared as it was before, therefore this
                                                  tions, but mentally there are still ways to survive     state. It empowers us to be heard by our
could be a contributing factor in newly diag-
                                                  while reaching my goals. I decided after much           state officials, increases awareness and
nosed HIV infected people. To those who
have survived for twenty years, what changes      thought that the best way to help other people          education to our communities, and
have happened for us? The medications have        like myself was to go to school to become a social      will help our agencies and medical pro-
become less, easier, and more tolerant. Our       worker. My other choice was to sit at home for          vider's to serve the HIV community with
case management has changed, and the              the next 22 years until I'm actually supposed to        the best of healthcare and social ser-
policies and red tape involved in the             retire. I'm determined that I'm not going to let        vices. I encourage everyone infected and
                                                  another decade pass by sitting and waiting to           affected by HIV to become involved and
HIV process changes with the seasons.
                                                  either die, or wait until somebody finds a cure for     attend the groups and meet-
  As we grow older we discover that change        HIV. If they could give me a miracle medi-              ings. They are specifically for us to help
is important to life and survival. The change     cine tomorrow and fix everything, would I be            in planning and enhancing our social
of the seasons is necessary for the survival of   prepared for life? I have enrolled in college           growth and well being as we battle the
our earth. Over time geographical changes         (B.G.S.U.) for the fall semester and it's just a be-    HIV virus. Also, I would encourage eve-
caused the beauty of the Grand Canyon and         ginning, but for me it will be a much needed            ryone to become part of the Consor-
Niagara Falls. As a person living with HIV, or    change.                                                 tium 9 B meetings that are sponsored by
any illness, it can become very easy to let                                                               Ohio AIDS Coalition and Ohio Dept of
                                                    Of course I am scared of the questions of "What       Health, along with AIDS Resource Cen-
the virus and the system lock you behind a
                                                  if I can't do it?" and "Could I get sick again?", but   ter Ohio to further improve the quality
closed door where everything stays the
                                                  then again most likely I can, and if I take good care   of our lives and community.
same. We have become complacent
                                                  of myself, then my chances of getting sick are
and watched the entire world change
                                                  slim. We have to determine and learn a balance            Our President is working on positive
around us. Hoping, waiting, that someday,
                                                  of how much we will let HIV control our futures         changes for our country and health-
somewhere, that someone will find a cure
                                                  along with maintaining a level of good health.          care. I'm working on being positive while
for this virus that has controlled our lives.
                                                  When I am done with school, I do not know if I          being positive. Our Consortium 9B has
   I am a 43 year old male who was diagnosed      will be able to handle working full time and man-       changed with the new grant holders of
with full blown AIDS in 1999 and became           aging an illness, but most likely for sure I can work   Ryan White Funding to AIDS Resource
HIV infected approximately at the age of 24       part time doing something I know is benefiting          Center Ohio. We all have brand new
years old. I have been on Social Security         myself and others. HIV has become a manageable          case managers who are excited and ener-
Disability for the last 10 years. We are very     virus and there comes a time when we have to            getic to work for us through ARC
fortunate in this country to have a system        learn to manage our lives along with it. We can-        Ohio. Also Ohio AIDS Coalition and
set up to help us survive financially when we     not sit still and let an illness define our lives.      Ohio Dept of Health have been looking
are unable to work. But what happens men-                                                                 closely and working to improve the qual-
tally to someone who wants to be produc-           I am not suggesting we all go back to school and       ity of health and health providers in rural
tive and still become a successful person who     return to work, because as individuals, we all have     areas. I am excited this year will bring
                                                  a different set of circumstances. Some of us do         nothing but positive changes for positive
now has a manageable, but not a death defy-
                                                  work. What I am suggesting is that every time           people.
ing disease? Some of us become trapped in a
                                                  you put a limit on your life that you relate to
system of state and federal depend-                                                                       -Tom Blankenship Jr.
                                                  HIV, we should step back and ask ourselves
ence. Your job becomes yourself. We have
                                                  what we can do to eliminate that limitation.            Support Group Volunteer
a case manager for HIV, another for HUD,
one for Medicaid and Social Security, and the
                                                   Summer is coming to an end and in September
list can go on. You may go to your HIV
                                                  we will be reconvening our support group
specialist and he sends you to a gastronolo-
                                                  S.A.V.E. for ARC Ohio. (Support, Awareness,
gist, a neurologist, a pain management doc-
                                                  Volunteering, and Education). We would like to                Want to submit an article?
tor, or any other number of specialist. We
                                                  have three separate groups due to the fact we                       Email me at:
have to keep up with our dental, eye care,
                                                  have such a large, widespread ten
and sometimes see a mental health special-                                                         
                                                  county area. One group in Sandusky, another in
ists. What happened to the easy days when
                                                  Marion, and one in Mansfield. We plan on bring-
we just went to work 8 hours, came home,

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