The Haven of Hope Ministries
The Haven of Hope Ministries began offering services to individuals with HIV/AIDS in 1990. For approximately twenty years our focus has been only assisting those that are HIV- infected in our community. Several years ago, due to the many poverty issues in the Central Florida Community, we have revised our mission to include everyone in need of our outreach program.
- Facts About Poverty in Florida
There are approximately four million children living in Florida of which 21.3% are living below the poverty level and 9.2% are living in extreme poverty. The U.S. Government classifies extreme poverty as an individual living on less than $2.00 per day. Moreover, according to the poverty guidelines, a family of four living under $23,000.00 per year is eligible for assistance. The rate of homelessness is increasing rapidly. At the Haven of Hope, many families come through our doors that are living in cars, under bridges, or packed into one small hotel room. back to top
- Facts About HIV/AIDS in Florida
a. Florida ranks first in the nation in HIV infections and newly diagnosed AIDS cases. Second in the nation with cumulative Pediatric AIDS cases diagnosed through 2014.
b. There are over 11,186 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the Orlando area. (Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake Counties) The Florida Department of Health estimates that there are 130,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Florida
c. 1 in 4 new cases of HIV are among those ages 13 - 24.
d. Approximately 16% of individuals living with HIV/AIDS are unaware of their diagnosis.
e. Of those persons living with HIV disease in Florida, 49% are black, 29% are white and 20% are Hispanic. Men represent 70% of the cases. Persons over the age of 45 years old represent 60%.
f. HIV is the leading cause of death in Florida for both African American males and females age 25-44 (source: Broward County Health Dept.).
g. In Florida, 15% of all new HIV infections reported among females in 2012 were under the age of 25. back to top
- What is HIV/AIDS
HIV or the (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infects the body through a port of entry. When an individual is infected the body begins to build antibodies in the system to fight it. After a period of time if the HIV is not treated, the body's immune system becomes compromised and it is then that a person is said to have AIDS. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus) is acquired when the body's immune system breaks down over a period of time-- the person is unable to fight off infections, colds, and other diseases. And, it is the infections and diseases that threaten the lives of those that are infected. back to top
- How Do You Get HIV/AIDS and Who is at Risk?
The infected person passes the HIV virus to another person through body fluids. These fluids must find a way into the bloodstream, which is called "a port of entry". The mode of transmitting AIDS is through the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk--all which have a high concentration of the virus. Pregnant women who are HIV can pass the virus to their baby during the pregnancy, during delivery, or by breast feeding.
ANYONE can become infected with HIV. It's not "WHO" you are, but "WHAT" you do that puts you at risk. Remember: it is body fluid from an infected person getting into your bloodstream that infects you. Some of the obvious ways this can happen is by engaging in unprotected sexual activity, sharing needles, and occupational exposure or on the job accidents. back to top
- How Can You Tell if You are Infected?
There is no way anyone can tell by just looking at another person if they are infected with HIV/AIDS--testing is the only way that a person can tell if they are infected. A person who is not tested can be infected for a very long time. It can take up to ten years before starting to feel the first inkling that something is wrong. It is during this time, while not knowing they are infected, that they can transmit the virus to others. Getting tested for HIV is a very personal decision. Many people that have not put themselves at high-risk have chosen to be tested. Most people do not test positive for the antibodies (a protein produced by the body's immune system. Those who practice high-risk behaviors will most likely become infected. They are often scared and avoid the test. We want to encourage people to get tested. Your local Health Department has confidential testing at various testing sites. back to top
- Other Facts.
AIDS can not be transmitted through casual contact.
The rate of babies infected at birth has decreased through medication made available to the mother while she is pregnant.
Due to the medications available at this time, people can live a long life after an HIV diagnosis. It is important to consider that the side effects of many of the medications can effect the quality of the life of those infected. back to top