The Reunion Project has named former Positively Aware editor-in-chief Jeff Berry as its first executive director, leading a coalition that he helped establish for long-term survivors of HIV.
"I am thrilled to be a part of this great organization, and grateful to the funders who helped make it happen," Berry said in a press announcement. “We are on the cusp of a silver tsunami of people living and aging with HIV who require services tailored to their unique needs. Isolation and other mental health issues have been exacerbated by COVID-19, so there is no time to waste and no better time for renewed focus on the myriad issues facing long-term survivors and people aging with HIV."
Berry has been living with HIV for over 35 years. Soon after his diagnosis, he joined TPAN, the Chicago community-based HIV/AIDS services organization that publishes Positively Aware, volunteering as the magazine's distribution coordinator. He became editor-in-chief in 2005, leading the magazine until this past August. His journalistic integrity and dedication to people living with HIV, particularly long-term survivors, were the hallmark of his editorship.
In 2015, he co-founded The Reunion Project, an organization that collaborates with HIV advocates, providers and researchers to address the unique needs of long-term survivors of HIV.
"I'm excited and encouraged to see the tireless work of a diverse group of long-term survivors evolve from an all-volunteer effort to the naming of a full-time executive director," said Marc Meachem, head of U.S. External Affairs for ViiV Healthcare. "We were honored to support The Reunion Project and know that Jeff and the steering committee will build on the body of work to elevate the voices, experiences, and needs of long-term survivors in our national dialogues around ending the HIV epidemic.”
Darwin Thompson, director of Corporate Giving at Gilead Sciences, Inc., said, "We are proud to support The Reunion Project and its network of long-term survivors. Gilead knows the importance of facilitating organic connections and empowerment opportunities for long-term survivors through creative programming. The work of The Reunion Project has been critical to cultivating these safe spaces.”
For more information, go to reunionproject.net.