“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
For a THIRD time I am riding 545 miles in 1 week to raise awareness and start dialogues about reducing HIV/AIDS health inequalities. I am riding from San Francisco to Los Angeles before starting physician assistant school in Pittsburgh, PA. This is my farewell ride to 2 organizations that do an incredible job of improving HIV testing, treatment and research for those most in need.
I have spent three years as an STI/HIV counselor and counseling coordinator in Los Angeles. As a counselor I disclose negative and positive results, assess STI/HIV knowledge, explore barriers to safer sex and collaborate with my patients in creating individualized risk reduction plans (including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP!).
This work has made me passionate and concerned about the plethora of social conditions that determinedly shape and thwart health. Given that our society and lack of access to healthcare can determine one’s life has wanted me to alleviate many unique health inequalities.
We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past for all communities. Will you support services focusing on: HIV testing, treatment and research for those most in need?
Where your support is going:
$10 buys 114 condoms. We know that condoms, properly used, prevent the transmission of HIV.
$30 covers the cost of STI treatment for one patient. The presence of an untreated STI infection greatly increases the risk of HIV transmition.
$100 covers the cost of Hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Coinfection (HIV and one form of hepatitis) makes treating HIV more difficult.
$150 covers comprehensive HIV/STI testing for one patient.
$180 covers the cost of providing HIV prevention counseling for a group of up to 20 teenagers.
$250 covers the cost of administering 20 rapid antibody HIV tests at a testing site. This is the easiest way for people to test and know their status. It is estimated that 1/6 of people who are positive do not know their status.
$1,000 covers the cost of providing Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for one person. Within 72 hours of exposure to HIV, PEP can prevent someone from becoming permanently infected.
$5,000 covers the cost of one full year worth of lab testing for 18 people who live with HIV. Most patients need 4 tests per year in order to monitor their CD-4, CD-8 counts and viral loads for managing treatment.
$10,000 provides counseling services for more than 250 clients in one month. We address substance use, intimate partner violence, mental health and STI/HIV education and prevention. In counseling sessions we focus on reducing aspects that are the leading predictors of HIV infection.