NMAC Launches “ESCALATE” Program to Fight HIV Stigma

NMAC will launch the new “ESCALATE” (Ending Stigma through Collaboration And Lifting All To Empowerment) program. Funded by a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), “ESCALATE” will work to reduce stigma against People Living With HIV at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels.

NMAC logo“ESCALATE” will train participants in the 57 jurisdictions identified in “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE)” to recognize and address HIV stigma with a particular focus on transgender/gender nonconforming individuals, men who have sex with men, and the Black/African-American community. NMAC will work in partnership with NORC, Abt Associates, TRX Development and the University of Chicago.

“Stigma remains a major obstacle to HIV prevention, treatment, and care,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “‘Any plans to end the HIV epidemic, whether national or local, must address that stigma in order to be successful. Using our deep experience in training community leaders, NMAC will use the ESCALATE program to educate communities how to be able to see stigma when it happens and provide tools to address it when it does. It’s a huge task but one that is absolutely necessary.”

“This new HIV stigma reduction programming will help NMAC lay the foundation towards ending the HIV epidemic by year 2030 as outlined in the EHE,” said Charles Shazor, Jr., Associate Program Manager in the NMAC’s Center to End the Epidemics. “HIV stigma is a primary contributor to health gaps and disparities around access to HIV treatment and prevention within communities of color. The ESCALATE partnership will build a newly combined force of national HIV community leaders geared towards HIV stigma elimination in the 57 jurisdictions included in EHE.”

“Stigma is a pressing public health issue. It creates systemic and personal barriers for people living with HIV, which can prevent accessing needed medical care and services that improve health outcomes and overall quality of life,” said Jane E. Fox, Principal Associate, Division of Health and Environment at Abu Associates. “Abt looks forward to teaming with NMAC and others on this timely and pivotal initiative.”

“The University of Chicago is excited to lead the implementation science advisory team that will work to support, strengthen, and sustain stigma-reduction efforts in the various jurisdictions,” said Dr. Russell Brewer, Research Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, Medicine and chair of ESCALATE’s Implementation Science Advisory Team.

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

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NMAC to “ELEVATE” Training for PLHIV in HIV Workforce

NMAC has been awarded a cooperative agreement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to launch “ELEVATE” (Engage Leadership through Employment, Validation, and Advancing Transformation & Equity) for People Living with HIV.

NMAC logo“ELEVATE” will be a four-year national training program for people living with HIV (PLHIV) integrating five of HRSA’s community programs. ELEVATE will prepare PLHIV within planning bodies, advocacy actions, and the HIV workforce to be meaningfully engaged and central to decision-making. PLHIV will be supported to earn leadership roles. The program will focus on residents of the 57 jurisdictions identified in the federal plan to End the HIV Epidemic. NMAC will operate “ELEVATE” in partnership with JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and the Latino Commission on AIDS.

“From the moment the federal plan was announced, NMAC has believed that it could be a tremendous opportunity to hire people from affected communities into professional positions,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “‘ELEVATE’ will help make that opportunity into reality by giving potential job candidates the tools they need to be hired and succeed. We look forward to working with our constituents to help them make a difference in their communities.”

“We cannot say it enough times that meaningful engagement of people living with HIV is mandatory if we truly are committed to ending the epidemic,” said Ace Robinson, Director of the NMAC’s Center to End the Epidemics. “The vast majority of people living with HIV are racial/ethnic minorities who face a myriad of systemic societal ills in addition to HIV-related stigma. We must uplift these individuals by centering them on creating and implementing solutions. ELEVATE will help us all reach our common goal of ending the HIV epidemic.”

“ELEVATE” is modeled on NMAC’s Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) program and other training programs sponsored by HRSA including: JSI’s “Community HIV/AIDS TA Training (Planning CHATT)” and “The ACE TA Center’s In It Together Initiative;” the Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation’ s “Training Consumers on Quality Plus;” and Boston University School of Social Work’s “Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care (Among People of Color).”

“JSI is excited to build on our work designing and implementing Planning CHATT, as well as the ACE TA Center’s In It Together initiative, to continue to elevate community voices and enhance community members’ ability to take an active role in health care access and planning,” said Mira Levinson, Co-Director, Center for HIV & Infectious Diseases at JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. “Our team is looking forward to applying our experience, passion, and commitment to health literacy to the continued evolution of these training resources.”

Engaging the HIV workforce to ensure that PLHIV are supported as both colleagues and patients will be central to the success of ELEVATE.

“The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) is looking forward to being a partner in the ELEVATE program, an important contribution to the success of the Plan to End HIV in the US,” said Carole Treston, Executive Director of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. “The  engagement and leadership of PLWHIV in the HIV workforce is critical to ending the epidemic and nurses have an important role in supporting their training and employment. We are proud to be part of this cooperative agreement led by NMAC and HRSA, along with JSI  and Latino Commission on AIDS.”

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

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Jobs Are Racial Justice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week announced the distribution of $109 million in new funding to the 57 jurisdictions that were prioritized for the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) efforts. Since their 2020 EHE budget was $140 million, that means $31 million stayed at the CDC. NMAC is calling for transparency for how CDC intends to use this money. While we have no reasons to be concerned, CDC has not always been transparent in how it spends its HIV funds.

Transparency is important because too many people don’t trust people in power, particularly people in government. Black Lives Matter is calling for a new accountability when spending the public’s money. If we are going to build an HIV movement that is committed to racial justice, then it starts with being transparent about the money. Money is power and we need to monitor how HIV funds are being spent.

We also need to get the money out the door because community is hurting. To my friends at the targeted health departments, please get the money to community as quickly as you can. I don’t need to tell you that people are hurting. This new money comes just as America is falling into an economic tsunami. These millions of dollars should translate into thousands of new jobs. With unemployment hovering at 10%, it matters.

Just as I requested that the CDC be transparent with the money they are keeping, I also think it is important for health departments to be transparent. While the vast majority are great, there are some health departments that keep too much of the money. After all these years fighting HIV, we know that community, particularly people living with HIV/AIDS, are core to the solution.

To all of the community-based organizations and health centers who are getting new funding to end the epidemic, whom you hire matters. NMAC hopes you will hire staff from the communities that are hardest hit by HIV. Black Lives Matter is a fight for racial justice and health equity. You can stand in solidarity with the struggle by hiring people from the struggle. Racism is real and our movement has the opportunity with these new jobs to change lives and to end the HIV epidemic.

Our staffs are watching, boards are concerned, donors want to know how we are responding to Black Lives Matter, and people living with HIV want us to do the right thing. While it’s not enough money, $109 million is a start. All of our jobs are to make sure the money is going to where it can have the largest impact in the communities hardest hit by HIV. We know how to end the HIV epidemic, but do we have the will power and the money to make it happen?

August 13th Webinar with Raniyah Copeland
Nearly 250 people have registered for our August 13th Webinar with Raniyah Copeland from the Black AIDS Institute. The webinar is at 1:00 PM (Eastern)/10 AM (Pacific). There is still time to register. My staff loves BAI. They are always going on about their cutting-edge programs. Rather than be threatened by this love affair, I thought it would be important to support staff and invite Raniyah to the August 13th webinar to talk about BAI’s special sauce. I’ve also asked her to talk about what the Black Lives Matter movement means to our efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

Yours in the struggle,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Below is a letter sent by the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership to Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

July 30, 2020

Robert Redfield, MD
Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Dear Dr. Redfield,
As leaders in the public health community, the 38 organizations below stand in solidarity with the over 1,200 current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employees who signed this letter to the agency’s senior leadership. Per their request, we ask you to:

1. Declare racism a public health crisis in the United States;
2. Increase Black representation among senior CDC leadership and diversify the talent pipeline for future leaders;
3. Acknowledge and take immediate, direct action to address CDC’s toxic culture of exclusion and racial discrimination;
4. Dismantle the visible and invisible barriers to career advancement for Black employees;
6. Make implicit bias training and cultural sensitivity education mandatory for all CDC employees; and
7. Resolve pending EEO cases of racial discrimination.

We must hold our Federal partners accountable to the same demands we ask of communities across this country. The time is now to demand and expect change from our Federal partners. We have to address the structural barriers that keep people out of care and services that could improve their health outcomes. This is built on trust and accountability. We know the CDC understands this as its research and grants require external actors to outline how they are going to work with communities and affected groups. However, this analysis and reflection seem to be absent from their internal works. Long-term public health accountability includes diversifying the workforce, but also supporting the diverse workforce currently in place comprised of those directly impacted by systemic racism. Accountability strategies must include listening to, prioritizing, and operationalizing responses to the concerns of public health professionals of color. The time and resources spent advocating for equitable working conditions delay targeted and culturally relevant public health responses and further devalue Black and Brown lives. The consistent need for advocacy places a burden and negative mental health impact on public health professionals of color, who are often expected to persuade institutions to respond appropriately.

As public health organizations, we must also actively work to dismantle systems of racism, discrimination, prejudice, health inequity, and stigma within our own organizations and communities. We must continue to focus our work on addressing social determinants of health; we must continue to call on the Administration and Congress to invest in public health infrastructure and preserve and expand safety nets; and we will continue to fight for accessible and equitable health care, housing, education, and employment. It is the responsibility of public health professionals, including the organizations signed on, to center anti-racism and health equity in our own work and to foster and demand that swift action be taken.

The urgency of immediate action and the need to center anti-racism efforts in our public health responses is highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic that is disproportionately impacting Black lives. Communities of color in the U.S. are also disproportionately impacted by HIV, STDs, and hepatitis. African Americans, more than any other racial/ethnic group, continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV in the U.S. Recent COVID-19 data shows that Black communities in the U.S. are experiencing higher rates of hospitalization and death compared to whites –exacerbated by many of the same health disparities that impact the HIV care continuum.

As your public health partners, it is critical that CDC address these concerns. We are committed to working collaboratively with CDC to address them. If you have any questions, please contact the FAPP co-chairs, Kathie Hiers at kathie@aidsalabama.org or Mike Weir at mweir@NASTAD.org.

CC: Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH, CDC/NCHHSTP

Sincerely,

ADAP Advocacy Association
Advocates for Youth
African American Health Alliance
AIDS Action Baltimore
AIDS Alabama South, LLC
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS United
American Academy of HIV Medicine
Amida Care
APLA Health
AVAC
Black AIDS Institute
CAEAR Coalition
Cascade AIDS Project
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
Community Access National Network (CANN)
Cush Health Impact
Food is Medicine Coalition
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
God’s Love We Deliver
Health GAP
Health Services Center
HealthHIV
Human Rights Campaign
NASTAD
National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Working Positive Coalition
NMAC
North Carolina AIDS Action Network
Positive Women’s Network-USA
Prevention Access Campaign
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Southern AIDS Coalition
Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network
The AIDS Institute
The Well Project
Treatment Action Group

The Latest on USCHA

The 2020 United States Conference on AIDS has over 3,300 registrations. Please be sure to register for free before we reach 4,000.

Dr. Anthony Fauci* will keynote the Federal Plenary on Tuesday, Oct 19th. The session will ask our federal leaders for the next steps in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic. COVID-19 has changed everything, including the way we provide HIV prevention and care.The good doctor does not need to hear from me that a movement stands behind him. I am so proud of the way the HIV infrastructure is being used to fight COVID-19. The COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network is a merger that includes the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (PVTN), the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group. This clearly documents the value of our country’s investment in HIV and why Congress must increase HIV funding. Here is more information if you are thinking about volunteering to be part of a trial. As we learned on last week’s webinar from Dr. Stephaun Wallace, they need a diversity of people to volunteer for these trials, including People Living with HIV.

What We’ve Learned from Attending Other Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings are new to most of us. Recent experiences showed NMAC that training in advance on the conference platform is vital to a good conference experience. USCHA will use multiple training tools including online manuals, webinars, and real people to provide technical support. The next two USCHA webinars will happen on:

  • Aug 6th How to Set-Up Online Exhibit Booths
  • Aug 19th Recording Online Workshops

Staff is putting together “advance” workshops to serve as models for presenters. These early sessions will be online to collect feedback on the learning formats and to give presenters an example of USCHA’s expectations. The goal is to create a “good learning experience” for communities working on the frontlines of the epidemic and to educate and train them on the latest HIV prevention, care, and wrap around services in a COVID-19 world where Black Trans Lives Matter.

If we can, we will also have a version of the conference platform online prior to the start of the meeting. It will be an opportunity for registered attendees to use the new technology in advance. Staff will use this time to get feedback and uncover any problems in advance of the start time.

Yours in the struggle,

 

 

 

 

*I did not get permission to use this picture of Dr. Fauci, in fact I am concerned that he does not like it. I thought it was cool and wanted to celebrate him.

 

 

 

 

Support NMAC – José Ramón’s Story

We know times are difficult for many right now and NMAC is no exception. That’s why we’re asking for your support and showing you how that support benefits our members and our communities.

José Ramón García-Madrid is part of the Gay Men of Color Fellowship program in NMAC’s Treatment division. Here is his story:

“My work in HIV started around 2014 when I was introduced to David Perez and Francisco Dueñas, two gay Latinos who led efforts to build a nationwide network of LGBTQ Latinx organizers and advocates. Their efforts materialized in Union Equals Fuerza: The Latinx Institute at Creating Change, which is a central hub where queer Latinx leaders meet every year to trade knowledge and skills. I co-led programming for the Institute for four years and was able to meet countless Latinxs with personal and professional experience in the HIV community.

In 2018 I was invited to join a working group of gay Latinos collaborating with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law on addressing the rise of HIV transmissions observed particularly in our community; this is truly when my personal focus on HIV advocacy was born. This opportunity introduced me to Moises Agosto, who in turn introduced me to NMAC.

I grew up undocumented in Phoenix, Arizona. While my family has always loved me unconditionally, my parents did not have the knowledge they needed to talk to me about my sexual health including HIV. So I learned about this thing called “HIV” through the chat lines and online hookup sites I hoped to find connections on. These secret spaces were not always places of education and often produced shame and fear about HIV, attitudes I internalized as a teenager. In many ways, my involvement in NMAC’s GMOC Fellowship is about interrupting the cycle of shame and fear many young gay men of color are introduced to. We’re a group of gay men working diligently to reorient the conversation toward science, facts, and love.”

To help support the Gay Men of Color Fellowship and all of NMAC’s programming, please make a donation or become a member today.

Honoring the life of U.S. Congressman John Lewis

Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with countless members of Congress on an array of LGBT civil rights bills: Senator Ted Kennedy, Rep. Barney Frank, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rep. Jim Clyburn – while these distinguished leaders are heroes in their own right, my greatest honor was working with Rep. John Lewis.

Congressman Lewis recognized that oppression of a few is oppression for all.

Imagine if you will being a gay black man living with HIV in the ’80s.  The oppressing societal stigmas are dire.  Like a carpenter sanding 100-year-old floors, Congressman Lewis removed decades of stain from our souls.  For as long as he served in Congress, no civil rights bills were passed without his support.

Congressman Lewis recognized that in order for civil rights to be achieved, we must be vocal and vigilant.  His vision also included standing alongside LGBTQ Americans during their struggles for equality.  Mr. Lewis was extraordinarily passionate about LGBTQ Americans, particularly people of color.  He recognized the stigma gay black and brown Americans faced in their own communities – and he led an historic effort to change perceptions.

I remember the contentious debate over the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).  Those of us who were the architects of that historic legislation were very much aware that former President George W. Bush had every intention of vetoing the bill, but that mattered not for Congressman Lewis. In fact, he was adamant that for laws like ENDA to be enacted, the LGBT community needed his voice. And it is because of the powerful voice of Congressman Lewis that we were able to pass this landmark bill – the first LGBT civil rights bill to pass Congress. I invite you to watch Congressman Lewis’s speech and listen to his words.

It didn’t end there. While Congressman Lewis was instrumental with the successful passage of major laws like the Matthew Shepard and James D. Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the reversal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” he championed several lesser known, but very important pieces of legislation like:

  • Respect for Marriage Act (bill to repeal DOMA)
  • Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act
  • Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act
  • Equal Access to COBRA Act
  • Family Leave Insurance Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act
  • Early Treatment for HIV Act
  • Uniting American Families Act
  • Reuniting American Families Act
  • Every Child Deserves a Family Act
  • Student Non-Discrimination Act
  • Safe Schools Improvement Act
  • Healthy Families Act
  • Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act

Quite a record.

Like millions of Americans, all of us at NMAC deeply mourn his passing.  We recognize that COVID-19 may prohibit you from paying your respects to Congressman Lewis, his family, and staff. I invite everyone who wishes to express their love for Congressman Lewis to email me your comments. I’ll forward them to Michael, his Chief of Staff.

Finally, as we part with this larger than life hero, let us continue to fight for full equal rights – even if that fight includes #GoodTrouble.

Yours in the struggle,
Joe Racalto

NMAC Celebrates the Life of Congressman John Lewis

Following is a statement from NMAC on the passing of Congressman John Lewis.

“In one of his last interviews, Congressman Lewis stated ‘you cannot stop the call of history,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “‘You may use troopers. You may use fire hoses and water, but it cannot be stopped. There cannot be any turning back. We have come too far and made too much progress to stop now and go back.’  NMAC’s mission is to lead with race to fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic. As we go on with our mission, we will continue to memorialize Congressman Lewis’s dream by fighting alongside the millions of Americans who were and remain inspired by Congressman Lewis’s drive to make this country a more fair and just country for all Americans.”

“Congressman John Lewis’s voice unlocked millions of American’s who shared his vision that civil rights, including the right to vote, the right to work, and the right to walk down a street without being murdered is a fundamental right which should be afforded to all Americans, regardless of their race,” said Joe Huang-Racalto, NMAC Director of Government Relations and Public Policy. “His deep faith in Americans’ ability to accept and forgive is what earned him the title of Conscience of the Congress. The power of his voice was only matched by the power of the movement he inspired.”

COVID-19 Update Webinar Thursday, July 16, 1 PM (Eastern)/11 AM (Pacific)

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing. Our next webinar is an update on the new virus and the work that is being done in response.  Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace* from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will lead the discussion. The webinar will provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine trials and what that means to communities. NMAC is working with the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) to bring our movement the latest information. In addition to webinars, the CoVPN will host workshops at this year’s United States Conference on HIV/AIDS. As a friendly reminder, the Abstract Deadline is July 17th.

The COVID-19 webinar is on Thursday, July 16th at 1 PM (Eastern)/11 AM (Pacific). All of NMAC’s webinars are free and open to everyone. Webinars not only provide information, they train staff and potential USCHA attendees on various technology platforms being used for distance learning.The COVID-19 Prevention Network (COVPN) was established by merging four existing NIAID-funded clinical trials networks: the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), based in Seattle; the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), based in Durham, N.C.; the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC), based in Atlanta; and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, based in Los Angeles, along with other collaborators. It is important to point out how the HIV research infrastructure is supporting the search for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Treatment education, whether it’s about HIV or COVID-19, is core to our work. Both viruses are infectious diseases that disproportionately impact People of Color. Solutions to ending either epidemic depend upon effective treatments and/or a vaccine. As we have learned in HIV, having tools that work is only the first step. You have to be able to convince people to take the drugs or get the vaccine. That is a complex challenge. Our unequal medical infrastructure combined with a mistrust of the government can create real barriers to ending either epidemic. Black Lives Matter is about addressing these inequities in our society. The color of your skin should not impact your access to medical care and it should not determine your belief in government but, for too many, it does.

Yours in the struggle,

*Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace is a research epidemiologist and an internationally recognized public health/social justice leader with more than 20 years of sexual/public health experience with diverse populations including LGBTQ and MSM populations, and more than 25 years of social justice/community mobilization experience. Dr. Wallace serves as the Director of External Relations for the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (CoVPN) and HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), a Staff Scientist in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington.

Virtual HIV Jobs Fair at USCHA 2020, Oct 19-21

America is hurting, more people are unemployed, and the future is uncertain. This year’s United States Conference on HIV/AIDS will hold a Virtual HIV Jobs Fair. The meeting is free for the first 4,000 participants; however, you will need to register because we are almost sold out.

What Is A Virtual HIV Jobs Fair?
USCHA and our online jobs bank are working to be a “central” depository for HIV job openings, particularly jobs created to end the HIV epidemic in America. With over $300 million in new funding just for this year, our movement will have thousands of new professional full-time positions.

A virtual HIV jobs fair is our response to the need to be socially distant while looking for employment. Specific times will be set aside during the 2020 conference for participants to go the Virtual Exhibit Hall to meet with organizations with job openings. NMAC is giving free exhibit booths to the 57 jurisdictions that are targeted in this federal effort. Since these health departments will receive the lion’s share of the new funding, they or other organizations in their jurisdictions will have the most jobs to fill.

Participants attending the virtual jobs fair will be able to download job openings and upload their resume. They can also schedule Zoom informational interviews. Access to a computer or smartphone and the internet will be needed to participate.

Jobs=Racial Justice
Full time professional employment for the communities hardest hit by HIV equals racial and social justice for communities disproportionately impacted by racism, transphobia, homophobia, and sexism. We have the ability to transform the discussion of racial justice in America by just doing our jobs and hiring people from the communities hardest hit by HIV.

When NMAC set out to work with the administration to end the epidemic, our unstated goal was jobs and economic development for communities that shoulder the greatest burden of the epidemic. As we all know, our work to end HIV will only happen when we reach people living with HIV, people of color, gay men, Black women, drug users, and the transgender community.

Hiring People from Communities Hardest Hit by HIV
In our fight for racial justice, it is important for employers to understand the impact that racism has on the communities our efforts need to reach. College and previous professional employment are not a reality for too many in our communities. Drug and sex worker arrests are too common in communities that are over policed and under protected. White standards for employment are how our world keeps White people in leadership.

Sometimes you have to take a risk and hire staff who may not have all the paper credentials but do have the life experience. For many government agencies this is impossible. That is why it is important to outsource funding to community-based organizations set up by and for those communities. If we’ve learned nothing else, the last weeks/months have shown the great distrust between people and their government.

USCHA Needs Workshops on Recruiting & Hiring
To support people looking for jobs and to help organizations looking to hire, USCHA needs abstracts on the following topics:

  • Resume Writing for People with Nontraditional Work Experiences
  • How to Apply for Federal Employment
  • How to Recruit Leaders from Communities Hardest Hit by HIV
  • Returning to Work Force After an Extended Absence

Abstracts are due July 17th. Please consider submitting abstracts to help people find new jobs or for employers to learn how to recruit from hard to reach communities.

We are living in strange and unusual times. Between COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, we are asked to reexamine our relationships to health and race. Since HIV sits in that same intersection, our future work can either demonstrate that we have learned the lessons or that history will repeat itself until we do.

Yours in the struggle,