A Check-In for People Living with HIV and the People Who Love Them

This week’s NMAC Hangout will be taken over by People Living with HIV/AIDS and the People Who Love Them. Working with our Over 50 Living with HIV initiative in partnership with Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs, the hangout will be a place for peer-to-peer check-ins and sharing tips on how to survive the isolation, loneliness, and depression that happens to many when sheltering in place during COVID-19.

The Hang-out for Thursday, April 30
10 AM (Eastern) Register
2 PM (Eastern) Register

Moises Agosto Rosario
The webinar will be led by two long term survivors, Jax Kelly, the President of Let’s Kick ASS Palm Springs, and Moises Agosto, the Director of Treatment at NMAC. We also be joined by:

  • Simeon Den, Broadway actor, dancer, writer, yogi, long-term survivor, performance artist and star of the “Old Gay/New Gay” podcast on KGAY 106.5 as his alter ego Sue Madre for the 2:00 PM session.

Other speakers are being confirmed.

NMAC believes that peer-to-peer outreach is the best way to reach, support, and educate people living with HIV/AIDS. During these difficult times, our movement has a responsibility to support PLHIV and to be responsive to their challenges.

According to Moises, “the goal of the webinar is to engage in a facilitated discussion about emotional strategies to cope with COVID-19 quarantine. We want to have a brief presentation by a mental health clinician to talk about the intersection between HIV and COVID-19 and how social distancing affects the mental and emotional well-being of PLWH.” Specifics are still being determined. If there is something that needs to be discussed, please email Jax or email Moises.

Just as NMAC believes that people of color are core to reaching other people of color, we also believe that PLHIV are core to reaching other PLHIV. People living with HIV/AIDS, particularly long-term survivors, have a history, experience, and legacy that must be honored and supported. These are difficult times for all of us. I find myself being re-triggered by all the stories about hospital and death. I remember the incredible nurses who were my heroes then and are still today. I have too many posts on Facebook about people who have passed, and I feel helpless. It’s all just a little too familiar.

Honoring Our Lost Community Members

COVID-19, like HIV, is taking too many people too soon.

Ed Shaw
From Roni Minter (from Facebook/edited)

“When I came home in 2005, I was interning at ACRIA. I worked under the great Ed Shaw. At the time he was heading a clinical trial of people over 50 living with HIV/AIDS. I learned so much from him. I’m so sad to learn today that Mr. Shaw has passed. He put up a great fight over these past years with his health. He is a pioneer in the fight for Prevention, Treatment, and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS. Rest in Power, Mr. Shaw.”

Yours in the struggle,
Paul Kawata
Paul Kawata