April / May 2014
by Jason Cianciotto
Welcome to the inaugural issue of SeroZero, a new quarterly insert in POZ magazine produced by the Public Policy team at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). “SeroZero” refers to our goal to prevent new infections (seroconversion) and ensure that people living with HIV achieve optimal health and viral suppression. Building from the best of Treatment Issues, our previous insert, SeroZero will feature information about prevention and a variety of public policy issues affecting people living with HIV across the country. It will also feature inspiring stories from members of GMHC’s Action Center, which empowers people living with HIV/AIDS to advocate for their needs.
In this issue we open with a powerful personal testimony from Sharon Vail, a long-time Action Center member living with AIDS since 1999. Approximately 20% of all new HIV infections occur in women and, like Sharon, many who fought through the early days of the epidemic are now over age 50. In the first of a regular column titled “Research Roundup,” GMHC Community Coordinator Sarah Glasser walks us through recent research on women over 50 living with HIV and finds that there is a great need for more information about their needs and experiences.
In “Releasing Health,” another regular column, Ronald Regins shares how his experience at the intersection of HIV and the criminal justice system inspired his passion to help formerly incarcerated people living with HIV reintegrate and reconnect with society. Ron was recently honored as one of the POZ 100 in 2013 and he co-chairs the GMHC Action Center Prison Health Think Tank.
We close with Demetrius Thomas, GMHC Policy Associate, asking, “What’s really new about the HIV epidemic and young Black MSM?” Demetrius responds to the notion that Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are the “new face of HIV” and shares GMHC’s focus on the disproportionate affect of HIV on young Black MSM. As Demetrius shares, we will never reach sero zero unless we address the socio-economic disparities, stigma, and discrimination driving the epidemic.
Jason Cianciotto is the Director of Public Policy at GMHC.
To read the issue as a PDF, click here.
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