HIV 360 Fellowship

HIV 360 Fellowship

[MUSIC PLAYING] I am an HIV 360 fellow. I am an HIV 360 fellow. I am an HIV 360 fellow. HIV effects folks of
all walks of life. Discrimination against the
LGBTQ community and stigma against those living with
HIV are closely linked. A lot of people are very
afraid and very, like, scared in a sense, you
know, about testing. It’s the way that we think
it’s a disease from the past that the epidemic is
still really left behind. When I was diagnosed, I
didn’t see anybody really that looked like
me speaking out. You don’t have to feel
like you are alone or that you’re ashamed. It’s OK to be happy still. We’re trying to
change the climate. We’re trying to regionally
look at a problem of safety and security. I don’t just say that
I’m HIV positive. I’m saying I’m living
with HIV, I’m living. The Elton John AIDS Foundation
is doing something really, really important here,
which is putting money into young people doing
leadership work around HIV and AIDS. Through this fellowship and
through their broader HIV programming, the
human rights campaign has recommitted to
making HIV and AIDS work a central part of the broader
work of LGBTQ advocacy in this country. I became a 360 fellow to
enhance my leadership skills, more specifically around HIV. This fellowship is going to
be a fantastic opportunity for me to pay attention to who
I am as Andres and the leader that I hope to be
in my community. But more importantly, what kind
of skills and best practices can I bring back
to the folks that need it most in my community? A lot of the experiences
that my community faces is most of the things
that I faced coming up. And that’s one of my
motivations behind doing this work is because I
didn’t have this help. I didn’t have someone
sharing their experience or their narrative
with me to kind of help guide me or help to
co-create my blueprint. It’s helping me develop
tools and skills to have better self-care,
to better debrief my team. I think that’s actually
really key to doing HIV and AIDS work is
building community with the other people
who are involved with ending the epidemic. It is such an honor
and a privilege to be with nine
other cohort members. The HRC has been
amazingly supportive. They’ve actually been
sitting in the sessions to learn some of what we’re
learning so they’re not just putting together a curriculum
and saying, go do it and be. But they’re actually
learning as we learn. And I find that to be respected. Some of the lessons
that I’ve learned have been, number one,
challenging myself and actually seeing
myself as a leader and affirming
myself as a leader. And I could definitely take
that back home to actually be more grounded in what I do. One thing most people don’t
know is the Elton John AIDS Foundation puts more
money into HIV research, particularly around
individuals of color, than any other organization. Not only does HRC believe in
the work that we’re doing. But one of the largest, if not
the largest, funder in HIV work also believes in the
work that we’re doing. I just want to really thank
HRC for believing in me. I believe that we can live
in an AIDS free generation. I’m an HIV 360 fellow. I’m an HIV 360 fellow. I’m an HIV 360 fellow. I know that the cure
for HIV is going to be a part of my generation. I’m an HIV 360 fellow. I’m an HIV 360 fellow. I’m committed to ending the
HIV epidemic in North Carolina. I work to reduce HIV
stigma in the deep south. I’m an HIV 360 fellow. And I am fighting to
end the epidemic of HIV. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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