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Southern REACH Returns From Atlanta

Last month, AIDS United hosted the 2016 Southern REACH convening in Atlanta, GA! Grantees, speakers, and guests gathered to engage in meaningful discussions and share the amazing work happening around HIV in the South. The week was filled with difficult conversations, a true collaborative spirit, learning opportunities, amazing sessions, and great food!

Posted By: Adele Appiah, Program Associate, AIDS United - Monday, April 25, 2016


The Veil of HB2: Spotlighting Transgender Issues to Cover Multi-Issue Legislative Attacks

Last month, North Carolina enacted HB2, a law that targets transgender people while also broadly attacking workers and local democracy. The full implications of HB2 have not been recognized in much of the media coverage, both in terms of the specific harms to trans workers of color, particularly trans women of color, as well as the broader effect of the law on all workers in North Carolina. By recognizing the full scope of the law while also centering our strategies as advocates for the communities most impacted, we’ll be in a stronger position to fight similar bills when introduced around the country.

Posted By: Preston Van Vliet, National Campaign Organizer of the LGBTQ Work-Family Project - Friday, April 22, 2016


Embracing the Person First: an Essay on Language and Addiction

Language is at the root of every culture. Deeply imbedded in our daily interactions is the use of language, in the form of information sharing and receiving, emotional expression, and basic exchanges between people. It is easy to not think much about the words we use in the course of our day to describe people, places, and things. For example, most of the words used to describe individuals who use drugs are disempowering, yet socially acceptable. We characterize people who use drugs in noun form: addict, junkie, alcoholic, mentally ill, as though these humans are solely defined by the ailment of addiction. The pervasive use of these words perpetuates the stigma surrounding the substance use community.

Posted By: Amanda Stem, MSW, Advocacy Supervisor at the Western North Carolina AIDS Project, feat. insight from Conner Adams, Harm Reduction Champion - Tuesday, April 12, 2016


AIDS United AmeriCorps Alumni Spotlight: Maya Kailas

Maya Kailas served as an AIDS United AmeriCorps program in Chicago, IL from 2014-2015. She recently began medical school at Boston University. We caught up with Maya to discuss her experience in medical school, how she stays involved in public health, and how AmeriCorps influenced her career goals.

Posted By: Sarah Hashmall, Program Manager, AIDS United AmeriCorps Alum ‘09-11 - Friday, April 08, 2016


Thank You, Flint!

This week is AmeriCorps Week! It's a week to recognize and show gratitude for the significant impact AmeriCorps members make in communities across our great nation. It's also a great chance for AmeriCorps members to use their place in the spotlight to roll up their sleeves, strut their stuff, and get things done for America. This past weekend AIDS United AmeriCorps Members and alumni from Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit did exactly that in Flint, Michigan.

Posted By: AIDS United AmeriCorps/AFC Team Cleveland - Tuesday, March 08, 2016


PrEPing Your Capacity

On July 12, 2012, the FDA approved Truvada as PrEP, an HIV prevention medication for individuals who are at high risk for HIV infection. Three and half years later – PrEP has taken the world of HIV prevention by storm as many community based organizations (CBOs), AIDS service organizations (ASOs), and clinicians have begun to integrate PrEP into their care delivery models. In response, Getting To Zero, the AIDS United Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded capacity building initiative, has delivered several trainings and created tools to help organizations understand what PrEP is and how it can be best integrated into their HIV prevention services. Our PrEP 101 has been used to train several organizations about the basics of PrEP and barriers faced by key affected populations regarding access and adherence to PrEP. Here are some common questions about PrEP that we encounter in the field.

Posted By: Sarah Getachew, Program Associate, AIDS United - Thursday, March 03, 2016


The Power of Pleasure: A Smarter Conversation on Sexual Health

This past week, I participated in a training on anal sex and pleasure. Yes, you heard me right; I spent two full days engaging in intimate and educational conversations about butt sex. Admittedly, it was quite an exhilarating experience talking about such a taboo topic in American society. My interest was definitely peaked, I mean, how often does one get to actively discuss the anatomy of their anus and how to appropriately pleasure it? The training wasn’t just rebellious fun though; it was also incredibly engaging and thought provoking. I walked away feeling empowered and informed. Sometime during my drive back home, it occurred to me, I’ve been going about prevention education the wrong way this whole time! Instead of talking about safer sex, I should be talking about “smarter sex.”

Posted By: Joshua Kratz, AIDS United AmeriCorps Team Cleveland - Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Building Communities to Counter HIV Stigma

At the headline: “Taking China’s Fight Against AIDS Online” immediately, I was hooked. This year, I am serving as an AFC/AIDS United AmeriCorps Member in Cleveland, but I was curious how HIV education and prevention is carried out in other countries, especially those who have notoriously spoken out against homosexuality. Homosexuality in China was only decriminalized in 1997, and in the years since, stigma and discrimination still run rampant.

Posted By: Roxanne Krausert, AIDS United AmeriCorps Team Cleveland - Wednesday, February 17, 2016


We’re All in this Together

I am serving as an AIDS United AmeriCorps Member in Cleveland through the AIDS Funding Collaborative. Recently, during a discussion about sexual health with teenagers at a local high school, a student made a particularly poignant statement that resonated with me. She very bravely and truthfully explained to the group that if she didn’t know someone living with HIV, then she was not very likely to think about her own risk of contracting the virus. And as much as I hated to admit it, she was right. Despite the fact that HIV affects all of us, until we can personally connect to something, we often do not care about it.

Posted By: Chelsea Wood, AIDS United AmeriCorps Team Cleveland - Friday, February 12, 2016


First Large-Scale Trial for Heart Disease Prevention Among People with HIV

Studies have shown that individuals with HIV are 50–100% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than individuals without HIV. In fact, heart disease is a leading cause of death among HIV-positive people and many do not have symptoms and are unaware of the increased risk for stroke or heart attack.

Posted By: Steven Grinspoon, MD, REPRIEVE Co-Principal Investigator, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Program in Nutritional Metabolism, and Co-Director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard - Thursday, February 11, 2016

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