The HIV/AIDS Legal Services Project of Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) creates and enhances legal support networks and improves access to legal services for low-income people living with and impacted by HIV. LSSP increases the understanding of legal rights and legal remedies for HIV-related issues, provides legal advice and representation to low-income people living with HIV in specific areas of law as they relate to HIV status, and advocates for specific policy improvements with input from the local and regional HIV community. Enhancing LSSP’s advocacy capacity has been instrumental to serving clients. Through the advocacy activities of the HIV Services Project, LSSP has been able to keep clients informed of issues that directly impact them such as changes to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) in North Carolina and Ryan White funding. In fact, some clients who were not involved in advocacy previously have taken an interest in more local and state initiatives that impact people living with HIV.
LSSP has helped low-income people living with HIV access benefits that help them meet their most basic needs. Over the past three years, LSSP has successful in obtaining more than $600,000 in Medicaid, SSA and SSI benefits for clients living with HIV.
- Address specific policy improvements and seek advocacy opportunities as determined with input from the local and regional HIV community.
- Educate people living with HIV about the policy and legal issues that directly impact their lives.
- Provide legal services to people living with HIV, including estate planning and medical advance directives.
- Conduct trainings and presentations in the community on the legal rights of people living with HIV.