The high cost of health care and life-saving medications for people living with HIV/AIDS and homelessness often forces individuals with the illness to have to choose between their health and housing. In addition, persons living with HIV/AIDS are more likely to lose their jobs due to discrimination or as a result of frequent health-related absences. Up to half of all HIV positive individuals are thus at risk of becoming homeless.
In addition, individuals who are already homeless are at increased risk of contracting HIV, such as intravenous drug users who share or reuse needles. Poor nutrition, exposure to the elements, and poor hygiene pose serious threats to a compromised immune system, making it more likely that HIV positive individuals will develop AIDS.
Special housing subsidies enable individuals living with HIV/AIDS to access permanent supportive housing and associated services. With the stability of a secure home, Common Ground tenants living with this illness are able to access essential medications, manage their condition with regular preventive care, and address psychological issues that may contribute to the course of their disease.