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Study of HIV Quality of Life
Researchers at UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) are looking for men and women living with HIV to participate in a new study aimed at improving health and well-being in the HIV community. Along with researchers from three other institutions, the UCSF research team hopes to determine the specific challenges faced by HIV-positive men and women.
"Due to major changes in treatments, the situation for many people living with HIV is phenomenally different than a few years ago," says Margaret Chesney, CAPS co-director and the study's principal investigator. "Some people are choosing not to take medications, some are faced with side effects, and some have learned that the drugs do not work for them," she says.
CAPS researchers plan to enroll 300 HIV-positive subjects, who will be divided into two research arms. Participants in the first group will attend 15 one-on-one meetings with project staffers over the course of a year. The meetings will focus on difficult issues in the subjects' lives, including managing their health care, disclosing their HIV status, and dealing with their sexuality. The meetings will also explore ways to cope with these challenges in a positive way.
Participants in the second group also will take part in a series of one-on-one meetings, but the focus will be modified to reflect what researchers have learned from the first group.
"The study will allow us to examine the effects of a one-on-one intervention, and how people living with HIV in San Francisco are dealing with a range of situations. What we learn will provide guidelines for structuring future support to the HIV community," says Chesney.
The study is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. All eligible participants will receive cash for each visit.
To qualify for the project, candidates must be HIV-positive and 18 years of age or older. Interested persons should call Neal Carnes, recruitment coordinator, at 415-597-4669 for more information.
A New Crop of Readers
Wouldn't you like to help foster literacy in low-income families? Easy. Stop in at Cover to Cover Booksellers this month and pluck a blossom from the tree.
During the month of May, the store will showcase a "tree" covered with "blossoms," with the names of young readers. Each time a customer buys a book for one of the children, a bloom is pulled from the tree and replaced with a bright red apple saying "Thank You" to the donor.
All books donated will go to low-income or homeless kids, through either the Home Away From Homelessness program or the Prescription for Reading program coordinated by S.F. General's Pediatrics Department.
This is the eighth year Cover to Cover has done its Growing Readers tree, and it's always been successful. "Everybody is so happy to help out here in Noe Valley, and people sometimes buy four or five books. It really warms my heart," says Tracy Wynne, one of the store's co-owners.
The folks at the store know the kids' ages and interests and can suggest a book, or you can pick out a favorite of your own. The store combines the books with other age-appropriate materials (posters, pencils, etc.) donated by publishers, and each child gets a bag of the goodies. Almost 200 kids will be so gifted this year.
To participate, visit Cover to Cover at 3812 24th Street (near Church), or call 282-8080 and ask the staff to choose a book for you.
Every Bug Has His Day
The creepy, crawly, wiggly, cute "little creatures" that run the world await you at Bug Day at the Randall Museum. Kids of all ages are invited to attend this event on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The museum will be buzzing with activity as visitors watch "Insect Olympics," try out a video microscope, hunt for wild critters, see bees at work, cheer maggot races, and discover the joys of butterfly gardening. Friendly and knowledgeable entomologists will be on hand, offering demonstrations and answering questions.
Kids can play with walking sticks, giant cockroaches, ladybugs, woolly bear caterpillars, and other live insects. For those who don't want to touch the real thing, there are plenty of opportunities to make "bug" art.
At 11:30 a.m., author Francisco Jimen-ez's story "La Mariposa" will be read by Norman Zelaya. It's a moving story about a boy struggling to learn a new language in a new country, and an unlikely friend-- a caterpillar--who helps him find his way. Both the story hour and Bug Day are free of charge (and bug bites).
The museum is located at 199 Museum Way off Roosevelt, above the Castro. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Call 554-9600 if you have questions.
4 Singers Do "Songs @ Noe"
We may be living in a global village these days, but when it comes to music, some of the best artists can still be found in our own back yard.
Such is the premise of "Songs @ Noe," a songwriters concert taking place Friday, May 12, at 8 p.m. at the Noe Valley Ministry. The brainchild of Noe Valley resident Steve August, "Songs @ Noe" will feature four local songwriters -- Deborah Pardes, Andrew Kerr, John Lester, and August himself.
While all these performers live here, their music has national and international reach. The evening will celebrate their commitment to the vibrant Bay Area music scene, and specifically honor their connection to Noe Valley and the people who have supported their careers.
Several local businesses have signed on as sponsors. One, the Schmaltz Brewing Company based on Cesar Chavez Street, will be serving up its own He'brew Beer, advertised as "The Chosen Beer."
Tickets (normally $10 for adults and $5 for children under 5) will be half price if you bring a receipt from Pasta Pomodoro, Cafe J, the Dolores Park Cafe, or Streetlight Records, or if you're taking music lessons from Chris Gray, Dennis White, or Alex Candelaria.
"All of the performers feel very strongly about trying to reach out to the local community and find where we can be of mutual help to each other," says August. "Like many local businesses, we are small entities in an increasingly corporate world."
That's not to say the talent is small. Pardes performed at the Lilith Fair last year and is regularly featured on "West Coast Live" on KALW Radio. Lester won Song of the Year honors in 1999 in the Northern California Songwriters Association's open mike playoffs. Kerr got his start in standup comedy, and August made Honorable Mention in the international John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
The Noe Valley Ministry is located at 1021 Sanchez Street. The doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m. For more information, call 339-8833.
Cinco de Mayo and Carnaval
The forecast for May calls for a hot month in the Mission District.
First, San Francisco's annual Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival will be held on Sunday, May 7, starting at 10 a.m. The parade will kick off at 24th and Bryant streets and move up 24th Street to Mission Street, then up Mission to 20th and down 20th to Bryant.
Then at Civic Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., three stages will showcase music and dance from mariachi, salsa, and other Latin bands. A classic car show, a bike show and competition, food booths, arts and crafts, and free activities for kids will round out the day. General admission to the festival is $5; $2 for seniors. Children under 12 are admitted free.
Then get ready for Carnaval, which happens Sunday, May 28, with a parade that also starts at 10 a.m. at 24th and Bryant, proceeding up 24th to Mission Street, following Mission to 14th, and then 14th to Harrison.
The Carnaval festival will follow at 11 a.m. (till 7 p.m.), on Harrison Street between 16th and 22nd streets. Two stages of live entertainment will feature merr-engue, salsa, jazz, Caribbean, Brazilian, and reggae music. More food booths, arts, crafts, and free activities for kids will also be in evidence, and admission is free.
For information on either event, call the Mission Economic Cultural Association at 826-1401.
Neighborhood Beauty Contest
San Francisco Beautiful is looking for nominations for its annual Beautification Awards. The group needs your help in identifying not-so-obvious beautifications and exemplary neighborhood improvement efforts. Thinking of projects like landscaping, historic preservation, litter and graffiti reduction, murals, or things that enhance an area's sense of place, ask yourself, What individual, organization, or business has made a positive contribution to our environment? What project has captured the imagination of the neighborhood's residents?
Then call San Francisco Beautiful at 421-2608 to nominate the beautifier, or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax them at 421-4037. Nominations are due by June 1. The awards will be presented at the group's annual awards dinner on Oct. 26 at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. You can find out more about San Francisco Beautiful at its web site at www.sfbeautiful.org.
Sick of Your Commute?
Try a change of pace on Bike to Work Day on Tuesday, May 16. You can save money, get exercise, and have some fun, leaving the traffic congestion and Muni waits behind.
"I bike because it's much faster for me," says Gretchen Glatte, a pastry chef who rides from her Jersey Street home to her workplace on Potrero Hill. "It keeps me connected and makes me get outside every day and feel the weather," she adds.
To speed you on your way May 16, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is sponsoring several "energizer stations" around town with free treats and goodies for bicyclists only. On Valencia between 17th and 18th during the morning commute (7 to 9 a.m.), free coffee, treats, and tote bags can be had, and you can join the Bike Train that leaves for downtown at 8:30 a.m.
Once you get downtown, secure, monitored bike parking is available (free) at Market and Battery streets from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stop back at Valencia and 18th for more energizing on the way home, any time between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
If you're a little rusty (or your bike is), take advantage of the Coalition's events in preparation for the big day. There'll be Urban Biking workshops on Sunday, May 7, and Sunday, May 14, at 1 p.m., in Peacock Meadow in Golden Gate Park (on JFK Drive near McLaren Lodge). The class covers basic riding skills and safety tips. Bring your bike for the hands-on practice.
And if your bike hasn't been out of the garage since Hector was a pup, Bike Doctor Clinics will be held in the same Golden Gate Park location, on the same days, from noon till 3 p.m. Volunteer mechanics will be on hand to help you get your bike in shape.
For details on the workshops or other Bike to Work events in May, call 431-BIKE or check out www.sfbike.org.
Integral Yoga Turns 30
The San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute first opened its doors at 770 Dolores Street in 1970, and as part of its 30th anniversary celebration, the Institute will host an Open House on Saturday, May 13, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., featuring free classes. The Institute's founder and director, Swami Satchidananda, will be in San Francisco for a series of events commemorating the anniversary, as well as his own 50th year since becoming a monk.
In 1966, Swami Satchidananda came to the United States for a brief visit and discovered a generation of Americans eager for his teachings on how to find peace and universal understanding. He was asked to lead an opening prayer at Woodstock, where he urged the crowd to demonstrate to the world that in a time of war, it is possible to live together in peace.
The Swami will give a lecture titled "To Live Freely and Joyously" at the Herbst Theatre on May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. For more information on any of the anniversary events, or for tickets to the lecture, call the Institute at 821-1117.
Ron Wilmot Bike Ride
As bike rides go, the Ron Wilmot Bike Ride for Project Inform may not be a demanding athletic event -- but it is a very special one. On Saturday, May 13, more than 100 bicyclists from around the Bay Area will assemble in Golden Gate Park for a leisurely seven-mile ride to benefit Project Inform, a key resource for HIV / AIDS treatment information.
This year, riders who raise $100 or more will be entered into a raffle for a vacation package to London for two people. Riders who raise funds at the $500, $1,000, and $2,000 levels will also receive prizes, including weekend getaways and bike clothing packages.
Six years ago, Ron Wilmot started the ride as a way for people who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to get involved with Project Inform and learn how they can improve their health -- or the health of someone they care about -- by educating themselves about the disease. Although Ron died of AIDS in 1997, the fundraising he pioneered goes on.
Check-in for the ride is at 9 a.m. in Peacock Meadow, just past McLaren Lodge, on JFK Boulevard in Golden Gate Park. To register, call Project Inform at 558-8669, extension 223, or go to the group's web site at www.projectinform.org.