June #48 : Streethearts - by Gabi Horn

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Table of Contents

Afterimage

Beyond Condoms: Introduction

Beyond Condoms

Beyond Condoms: Life After Latex

Ouch! Stop the Pain

Catching Up With . . . Jim Howley

Drag King

Queen of Hearts

S.O.S.

To the Editor

Hypodermic Hysteria

Streethearts

POZarazzi: Party Poop

Frogs Out of Hot Water

Clip 'n' Save

Swing Vote

Think Stink

"WeHo" Heave Ho

Little Rocked

Say What

Obits

Patriot Games

Policy Permutations

Ghost Reader

Show & Tell

Rescue 3-8-7

Dose Encounters

Nurse a Grudge

A Bum Rap

Where There’s Smoke...

Feelin' No Pain

Tranny Time

Where to Find It

Get Over It

Volunteers Wanted

Not Your Typical Tearjerker

Displace Dysplasia

Prevention Extension

Posterboy Always Rings Twice

Sense and Sinsemilla

POZ Picks

Aunt Evelyn's Letters



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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June 1999

Streethearts

by Gabi Horn

The Thelma and Louise of AIDS outreach

After two years of pounding the pavement in Camden, New Jersey, in search of HIV positive prostitutes and drug addicts, two outreach workers, Sadia Sanchez, 33, and Angela Cocco, 43, have forged a relationship with some of the most at-risk populations east of the Delaware. The duo’s uncommon access to crack houses and brothels in one of the Garden State’s poorest cities recently caught the media’s eye. POZ peeked behind the scenes of this two-woman tour de force.

You two depend on each other in dangerous situations. Have you always gotten along so well?

Sadia: No. It was real hard at first. We had different ways of thinking and we’d irritate each other.
Angela: I was sheltered growing up, and I wasn’t as careful as I could have been. I trust everyone.
Sadia: And I trust no one. I’m Spanish—
Angela: And I’m Caucasian. We’re definitely from opposite sides of the spectrum. But we complement each other: If one of us can’t reach someone, the other usually can.

How did you reconcile your differences?

Angela:
We went to a marriage counselor—our supervisor.

The Associated Press called you the Condom Ladies.

Angela:
It’s weird. Our real job is linking HIV positive people with services in the Southern New Jersey area.
Sadia: And we do a good job, too. We go into crack houses and abandominiums—

Abandominiums?

Angela: Abandoned buildings. People don’t call their homes broken-down shacks, they call them abandominiums. And that’s the ticket to our success, really—we refer to people’s homes the same way they do. We respect.

Are you well received?

Angela:
Now we are. In the beginning people thought we were undercover cops or from Child Protection Services.

What keeps you going when people turn their backs?

Sadia: Realizing that we’ll see them again, that maybe next time they’ll be more accepting.
Angela: We’re like the Energizer bunnies: We just keep going.




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