A community in which people value life enough to stop the transmission of HIV;
and those living with HIV are thriving without stigma or shame
To eliminate the risk of HIV transmission and to empower those affected by HIV through
culturally competent and inclusive prevention, education, mental health and
substance abuse treatment services
Positive Impact accomplishes its mission through three primary programs: mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and risk-reduction services for people affected by HIV. The agency has, throughout its history, conducted its work in a manner that is culturally competent, honest, and respectful of the diversity among its clients, staff and partners. All of the agency’s programs cross-refer clients internally and staff clinicians are placed at six other AIDS-service organizations, further supporting the continuum of care for people affected by HIV in Atlanta.
Mental Health Counseling
The mental health counseling program began as the core program of the agency in 1993, serving 135 clients. The agency now provides counseling to over 700 clients annually, free of charge. Services in the mental health counseling program include individual counseling in English and Spanish, group counseling, substance abuse counseling, mental health outreach to homeless persons and a psychiatric clinic.
Substance Abuse Treatment
IMPACT is the agency’s licensed intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program for HIV-infected individuals, and it began in 2008. The program is based on empirically-validated curriculum and grew out of the substance abuse counseling the agency had provided since its inception. IMPACT is composed of 120 days of intensive group treatment (four hours each day), followed by 120 days of Continuing Care (two hours per day, twice a week). All clients in IMPACT are provided an individual mental health counselor during treatment, and receive a weekly counseling session. Additionally, the substance abuse treatment program of Positive Impact includes treatment navigation for clients nearing enrollment in services in English and Spanish, as well as a homeless outreach program. All of the substance abuse treatment programs are offered free of charge to qualifying clients.
The prevention and risk-reduction program began in 1998, in response to the realization that safer sex is not just about using a condom; it is about good mental health. As a result, the agency created risk-reduction programming which includes a module using behavioral health counseling methods. Prevention programs at Positive Impact also address multiple oppressions, such as gender, race, sexual orientation, disease status and class. The prevention program now includes MISTER, a drop-in center for gay and bisexual men in Atlanta providing wrap around holistic health services, as well as prevention case management for high risk individuals and outreach risk-reduction counseling. The agency also offers free HIV testing on a walk-in basis Monday through Saturday, and STD screening for gay and bisexual men.