Up Close and Personal at USCA: A Day of Action
September 7, 2017
As a pre-cursor to USCA, NMAC also put together an Action Day on Wednesday, Sept. 6, giving HIV advocates and community stakeholders the opportunity to meet with representatives on Capitol Hill. The event was sort of a mini-AIDSWatch, and people from all over the country were engaged. Meetings took place throughout the day. Members of the Senate and Congress were asked to restore funding for the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative, to lift budget caps, to maintain funding of the portfolios for domestic HIV (i.e., the Ryan White Program) and the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and to increase funding for housing (i.e., the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Program, or HOPWA).
I was fortunate to participate in a few meetings with the New York contingent. We met with Matthew Fuentes and Adeola Adesina, two staffers from Senator Chuck Schumer's office. Later, I met alone with Kripa L. Sreepada from Congressman Joseph Crowley's office. Both were great meetings with leaders who have a history of supporting HIV issues.
I also had a live conversation with members of the New York (Lillibeth Gonzalez, Serge Jean, Carlos Maldonado and Damon L. Jacobs) and New Jersey (Ed Barron and Derrick Wallace) groups, talking about their views on HIV and what's needed in each of their states considering the current political climate.
Charles Sanchez is an openly gay, openly poz writer/director/actor living in New York City. He created the musical comedy web series, Merce, about an HIV+ guy living in the city.
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This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 21st United States Conference on AIDS.
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