CDC Content Warning

This website and accompanying blogs may contain content only suitable for adults.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. HIV prevention materials funded by CDC must be approved by local program review panels. However, some viewers may consider the materials controversial.


Category: CLEAR


CLEAR Tips: Deep Breathing

by Conner Spinks, CLEAR Counselor
Life is stressful and sometimes, it’s hard to deal. Here’s some tips on ways to calm your mind and deal with stress:
Perform diaphragmatic or “deep breathing” exercises.

  1. Lie face down on the floor and begin breathing deeply and slowly, with your hands resting under your face. Do this for five minutes.
  2. Sit in a reclining chair. Put a hand on your abdomen and a hand on your chest. As you breathe, make sure the hand on your abdomen is moving up and down rather than one on your chest. If the hand on your abdomen is moving you are breathing deeply and slowly.
  3. Try progressive muscle relaxation or “deep muscle” relaxation. Progressively tense and relax each muscle group in your body. Learn the difference between muscle tension and relaxation.
  4. Meditate. Use visualization or guided imagery to help you learn to be one with your thoughts. Sit quietly with your eyes closed, imagining the sights, sounds and smells of your favorite place, such as a beach or mountain retreat.

The CLEAR program goes over ways of dealing with stress and much more! In addition, every session you attend you will receive a $10 gift card. If you are interested in seeing if CLEAR is for you, contact Conner at 515-248-1584.


CLEAR Tips: New Years Resolution

Happy New Year! Have you made a resolution? If you’re still working on last year’s resolution, you’re not alone! According to, over 40% of Americans make New Year Resolutions, yet only 8% manage to achieve their goals. Here are some tips to help you achieve your goal in 2016.

  1. Make sure your goal is important to you. It’s going to be hard to stick to a goal if the result isn’t valuable to you. I’ve found just questioning the importance of a goal can motivate me to commit to it.
  2. Is your goal realistic? If your goal is too difficult to achieve, scaling it down to a more attainable level may help lead you to success.
  3. Keep it Simple. It’s important that a goal can be stated briefly and clearly, this helps you to know when you’ve accomplished it.
  4. Be Accountable. Have a friend to help check in on your New Year’s Resolution. It can help to be reminded of your goal throughout the year.

If you’d like help sticking to your New Year’s Resolution, consider CLEAR the Project’s free self-growth workshop for people living with HIV. You can check in with your CLEAR counselor each week to keep track of your progress throughout the year. For more information contact Brandon, 515-248-1584 and schedule an intake session.


CLEAR TIPS: Finding Your Breath

Can you think of the last time you were very uncomfortable? Perhaps it was in an over-crowded bus or before an important meeting?

You may have noticed some physical changes like sweaty palms, a rapid pulse, or tightness in your chest. This is because during stressful moments our body activates our “Flight or Fight” response. Our body is preparing to run away or to fight, by sending a surge of hormones through our body.

But as we know, it isn’t always helpful for us to be in “Fight or Flight” mode. What can help?

When you notice you’re “activated” by stress, find your breath. Be aware of what it is doing. Just putting our attention on the breath can calm us down. You can take it a step further by slowing the breath down. Take longer, slower breaths that make your belly expand. Exhale slowly. Go ahead, try it.

Take a few minutes to sit comfortably, find your breath and spend some time with it. With practice, finding your breath and taking longer, slower breaths can be a guaranteed stress buster.

For more ways to relax, consider our CLEAR program. CLEAR is a free one-on-one workshop for people living with HIV and the partners of people living with HIV.

For more information about CLEAR, contact: Brandon 515-248-1584 or complete the form below.