I know exactly what it’s like. You feel like your life has been turned upside down.
You feel old, vulnerable, and mortal.
You are scared like never before about uncertainty about the future.
You grieve for the lost past when you didn’t have to really worry about what living with HIV was like.
You wonder if you will ever succeed in work, relationships, sex, or LIFE ever again.
I know, because on November 3, 1990, I received my own diagnosis with HIV.
Since then, 19 years later, I have become a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping gay, HIV-positive men just like me. I admit; I thrive in life. I have a loving husband (who is negative), a comfortable home, loving pets, an active social life, involvement in our community, and cherished hobbies (I’m an amateur circus acrobat, doing tricks on a trapeze, as well as an amateur bodybuilder — all with an artificial left hip!). I’ve overcome a lot of challenges in living with HIV for 19 years, and I think I can help you, too.
I apply my knowledge, skills, and experience not only as a trained clinical social worker/psychotherapist, but also someone who “walks the walk” of living with HIV every day. Over the years, I have helped thousands of guys deal with the stressors above, and helped them to succeed in ALL areas of life — including living with HIV.
I work in a private practice office setting now, but I am the former Clinical Director of two AIDS service organizations in the Los Angeles area, SPECTRUM at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Los Angeles Family AIDS Network, designing and supervising programs in mental health, case management, treatment education, peer support, and home health.
I was the Chair of the LA County HIV Mental Health Task Force for 9 years, including co-chairing its annual, national conference on HIV mental health.
For two years, I published a column on HIV mental health in A&U, America’s AIDS magazine. Many of the articles on this website are from those columns.
I have published numerous articles in academic journals, a book chapter, and various magazine contributions, including Poz, HIV Plus, and Instinct.
Many of the articles in other pages of this website contain articles on the “art and science” of living well with HIV. Feel free to explore those, and email me if you have questions or comments on these.
The benefits of working with me in the aftermath of your diagnosis are varied. These include:
- Learning how to change from a “dying” to a “thriving” mentality
- Coping with the challenges in dating and sex with same or opposite-status guys
- Discussing the nitty-gritty specifics, man-to-man, of how to have sex in the context of HIV
- Overcoming the stigma that others try to place on HIV-positive people
- Getting social support and developing a network of friends and others who “get it”
- Developing ways to self-disclose your status to dates, friends, family, bosses, and others that are just right for YOU
- Taking care of yourself through “extreme self-care” of medication adherence, lab reports, doctor visits, and side-effects management
- Learning to put HIV in the context of LIVING your life, not having it “run” your life
And, of course, if you just need someone to talk to about all that you’re feeling—I am here for you. Doing this kind of counseling is what I do for a living, every day. I would be happy to see you. Call me at 310-726-4357, or email me here at Ken@gaytherapyla.com, if I can answer any questions for you, or if you would like to set up an appointment.
You’re not alone—I’ll see to that. Hope to speak with you soon.