Losing ground

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local basic HIV programs were halted, and many support groups never came back. Bureaucratic and logistical red tape have slowed lifesaving HIV programs. Peer navigation roles to reach the most vulnerable are few and far in between; funding tends to flow to well-established organizations that may crowd a community group offering the same type of service. It took me three months to have pharmacies accept standard ADAP paperwork, so I had a stockpile of supplies. I have seen offices and agencies where stigma and discrimination are fanned by anti-LGBTQ+ messaging from elected officials, but pointing out structural problems can get people labeled as “woke.”

I am worried that HIV outcomes look better on paper than in real life. What works well in public health plans doesn’t necessarily play out in the field. Without meaningfully involving the PLWH [people living with HIV] community and political will, we may lose what progress we’ve gained because the resources are no longer there.

—Anthony Adero

Washington, D.C.

Partners in research

A couple researchers took note of Partners in Research, our four-part series about long-term survivors of HIV taking part in HIV cure research, which debuted in the January+February issue.

…it’s really good, engaging and well written. Also, I learned some things, including that we should think about flu/COVID season for a start. And definitely the need for follow-up for participants after ATIs [analytical treatment interruptions]. Congratulations to everyone involved in putting this together.

—Paula Cannon, PhD

Keck School of Medicine,

University of Southern California

It offers reasons for the need for participants and provides firsthand knowledge of the experience of being involved in cure research. Important work like this will help increase participation and open stories to the rest of the world about HIV cure research.

I am inspired. Well done!

—Pauline Sameshima, PhD

Graduate Studies and Research in Education

 Lakehead University

Published poet

Surprise!!! It’s official, l’m a published poet! Thank you, @posaware, for featuring my poetry! My baby, Iridescent, is in the universe! This is for my transgender community worldwide. Feel, heal, and enjoy! Check out Iridescent in the January+February 2023 issue.

—@timelesstate on Instagram