NMAC HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Grant

Let’s Kick ASS (AIDS Survivor Syndrome) Palm Springs (LKAPS.org) had two Zoom meetings in June 2020 to discuss issues pertinent to the local community. Thanks to a $2,500 grant by NMAC’s HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy program, LKAPS will be distributing logo masks and t-shirts to registrants who agree to submit a post- meeting evaluation. You can view the summaries of: Meet the Reunion Project and California Office of AIDS below.

Meet The Reunion Project via Zoom!

June 7, 2020 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Thank you to  The Reunion Project Co-Chairs, Waheedah Shabazz-El and Jeff Berry, who led our HIV Long-Term Survivor’s Awareness Day discussion on June 7 via Zoom. Given the current COVID-19  pandemic, it was important to reaffirm our resiliency in a time of crisis.

The Reunion Project (tpan.com/reunion–project). Founded in 2015, TRP are Conveners, Connectors and Creators of content for Long Term Survivors of the HIV epidemic. As such, TRP provides safe spaces to honor the fact that even though they have weathered great adversity and tremendous loss, many have come through the experience with a certain degree of resilience. TRP feels these stories deserve to be told, and shared, to help those who may need assistance in finding their way back out of isolation, depression or post-traumatic stress, which may or may not be a result of the epidemic.

Speakers:

Waheedah Shabazz-El, TRP Steering Committee Co-Chair. Ms. Shabazz-El is a Faith and HIV consultant, founding member of the Positive Women’s Network, board member of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, and goodwill ambassador to Philadelphia Fight. She is an African-American Muslim woman who was diagnosed with AIDS in 2003.

Jeff Berry, co-founder of TRP. Mr. Berry, a long-time survivor, is editor of Positively Aware magazine, director of publications for TPAN (Test Positive Aware Network) and contributor to numerous publications including The Advocate, TheBody.com and the Windy City Times.

Meet CA Office of AIDS via Zoom!

June 14, 2020 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Thank you to Kevin Sitter and Sharisse Kemp of the California Office of AIDS for their Zoom discussion on June 14 on a wide range of topics. The California Planning Group, a community advisory board to the Office of AIDS, invites all community members to participate in its HIV and Aging Committee that meets the first Wednesday of every month. Contact OA Liaison Kevin Sitter at Kevin.Sitter@cdph.ca.gov to be placed on the committee’s email list for future notices and directions on how to join the meetings on Zoom.

Topic: California Office of AIDS: COVID-19 and HIV, AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and Ryan White updates, plus an introduction to the California Planning Group (CPG), a community advisory board to the CA Office of AIDS.

Speakers:

Kevin Sitter, Office of AIDS, Ending the Epidemics Project Manager. Mr. Sitter has worked in the field of HIV prevention and care services since 1985. He has been an HIV test counselor, developed and implemented prevention programs, end-stage case management, a trainer for the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) and taught at the University of Minnesota Schools of Public Health and Social Work. He also serves as the OA staff liaison for the HIV and Aging Subcommittee of the California Planning Group. He has been at OA since 2004, the year he was diagnosed.

Sharisse Kemp, Office of AIDS, Prevention Section Chief. In the past four years, Ms. Kemp has been instrumental in developing policies and procedures pertaining to ADAP’s Health Insurance Premium Payment Program and Medical Out-of-Pocket Cost Program while also facilitating monthly advisory conference calls with ADAP enrollment workers and HIV advocates. She has also served as the California Planning Group manager where she has assisted with restructuring the way in which OA utilizes its CPG members. She also served on the U=U social media campaign workgroup. In 2018, Ms. Kemp was selected as a participant in the NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors) Minority Leadership Program.