​SUPPORT
INTRODUCTION: For more than 30 years the battle cry was "GET TESTED FOR HIV." The reply was always: "When you get tested and you are HIV+, you need to start treatment." The End. Full stop. However, what is the NEXT STEP if your HIV test result is HIV Negative? The reply was: Good Luck. Have a nice day, wear a condom.

MISSION STATEMENT: When you show an issue to a target population from a different perspective, you can help them to understand the benefits offered for their consideration. To the HIV "experts & professionals" and HIV researchers this is called BEHAVIORAL CHANGE. My goal is to put a NEW FOCUS on HIV Prevention and maybe people - more importantly researchers worldwide - will treat this as a starting point for thinking more about how we do things in the future.

Thinking about HIV Prevention from an HIV-negative point of view is the next logical step empowering our national message forward, and to help inspire our HIV-negative population to make informed choices. Educated choices with understanding, confidence and unity. This HIV-negative Support Group makes a contribution to our global research efforts through practical suggestions here online and with face to face group discussions. ​

SPECIAL NOTE TO HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS AND HIV RESEARCHERS: It is a universally accepted fact and supported by proven evidence based scientific research, that any target population will respond favorably to a message when given an empowering stimulus. Offer the HIV-negative population empowerment to remain HIV-negative and they will.

Taking The Lead: Every community needs leadership. As the social and sexual issues surrounding HIV continue to change, we must be vigilant and remain involved, connected and aware of new policies and ideas confronting our LGBTQ HIV+ and HIV-negative Communities. This HIV-negative SUPPORT GROUP webpage and the information offered here are dedicated to improving our quality of life - not only as a community but also as individuals. It is my hope that you share this with anyone who might benefit so they become empowered to stay the course, get involved in local or national discussions and CONTINUE TO STOP HIV just by getting tested for HIV and using basic social / sexual commonsense. 

This innovative HIV-negative SUPPORT GROUP webpage will be focusing on the success of HIV+ & HIV-negative people, and is a celebration of our achievements over the past 20 years. Our unity, our commitment, our support and our progress. But how can you see first hand in real time our national accomplishment against HIV? Just use your cell phone and Google to answer these two questions: 1) What is the population of America?2) How many are living with HIV? (How many are HIV+) Now subtract. This is the current number of Americans who are HIV Free (HIV-negative) Lets celebrate this discovery - together - both HIV+ and HIV-negative. After more than 30 years we deserve it.

My VISION...
​Emotional Health & Well-Being 
Peer Support Groups for HIV-negative people (LGBTQ and Straight)

Online or face to face HIV-negative Peer support groups will be a place where you can talk about day-to-day problems and issues with other people who are also HIV-negative, any race, any age and any income level. Because they can give you a sense of connection to other HIV-negative people, an HIV-negative peer support group could be a great addition to your overall HIV Prevention Plan with your family, friends, sex partners and medical treatment staff. Support groups can also help family members or friends who are HIV+ to better understand YOUR needs and goals from an HIV-negative point of view.

On a global scale, we (the HIV+ gay community) WANT YOU TO REMAIN HIV-negative. Since the mid 1990's we have been WILLFULLY DISCLOSING our HIV+ status in public to help protect you, and to let you know who we are. Since the first gay hookup site came online (Manhunt, 2002) and allowed us to post our HIV+ status in our MSM profiles, to online dating sites, to social networks like FaceBook, to gay adult entertainment productions and the like. ( see EMPOWER) Remember, even the HIV experts and professionals will tell you that the goals and issues facing the HIV+ community are NOT the same as the HIV-negative community. There are similarities but there are vast differences also.

What are peer support groups like?
Some support groups focus on education. These groups often are led by a professional, such as an HIV agency or organization staff member or a doctor who shares information about the problem, in this case HIV. Other groups focus on support. They include only people who are HIV+. These are called HIV+ support groups. They can be formed, staffed and funded by an HIV agency or organization. Other support groups can be privately organized by a private citizen for social or sexual reasons; examples include (but are not limited to) POZ Radio, POZ Cruises, POZ Camping, POZ Sex Parties and the like. But this is where my vision moves our national HIV Prevention Message forward...WHY limit our efforts to only the HIV+ Community?

THE GOAL:
In an HIV-negative peer support group, you'll find people who are going through the same things you are as an HIV-negative person. You'll see that you're not the only one. Others have the same feelings and challenges as you. Online or face to face group members can give you support, advice, and encouragement. You can see what is working for others and decide if it might work for you. You can help others in the group by paying attention. You can also let them know you are listening by sharing your thoughts. Your experiences and ideas may be new to them. Being able to help others is rewarding and helps you gain self-confidence.

How can I find an HIV-negative peer support group?
Ask your healthcare provider, counselor, or other healthcare professional for suggestions.
Ask a clergy member for suggestions.
Ask your family and friends to help you search.
Ask people who you know who are also HIV-negative.
Check your library, community center, school, university or online for a list of HIV-negative peer support groups.

Do an online search for "HIV-negative support groups” Online Forums, email lists, and hook up (sex sites) and chat rooms let you read profiles and  messages from others... and leave your own message. You can exchange stories, let off steam, and ask and answer questions about being HIV-negative in the 21st Century.

Look for an HIV-negative support group that works for you. Ask yourself if you prefer structure and would like a group leader, or if you'd like a less formal group. Do you prefer face-to-face meetings, or do you feel more secure in Internet chat rooms or forums? Think about what will make you feel most at ease. Know that you don’t have to share your personal story unless you want to, and that you can leave a group at any time.

IF there are no HIV-negative Support Groups in your area - CREATE ONE!
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Respectfully Yours;
Robert Brandon Sandor
US Air Force vet '79-'83
Humanitarian Service medal '79
Honorable Discharge '83
HIV+ '83
​Americas Leading HIV Prevention Innovator '96-present