24 May

Leading Houston HIV Advocate to Meet with Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders

Category: HIV/STD Screening & Treatment, Public Affairs

By Kevin Nix, Sr. Director of Communications

The nation’s top HIV experts and advocates, including attorney Venita Ray, public affairs specialist at Houston-based Legacy Community Health, are meeting with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in San Bernardino, CA tomorrow to discuss his plans for an AIDS-free America. In March, 70 HIV/AIDS advocates, including New York-based Housing Works, sent letters to all 2016 presidential candidates urging each of them to make ending the HIV/AIDS epidemics in the U.S. and around the world a priority.

“I am honored to be asked by Housing Works to sit down with the Senator to discuss ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” said Ray. “As a woman living with HIV, I know full well we have a lot of work still to do on the policy front nationally – and in my home state of Texas. In Houston, African-American women were newly diagnosed with HIV at a rate 21 times that of whites and almost six times that of Hispanic women. We all have to do a better job of getting the word out about treatment options, including the daily pill – called PrEP – that helps prevent HIV.”

Last month, HIV advocates met with Hillary Clinton at her Brooklyn campaign headquarters.

Legacy Community Health received a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation and AIDS United earlier this year to develop a strategic plan to end HIV in Houston. The project, “Ending New Diagnoses (END) HIV/AIDS Houston,” brings together community leaders to figure out how to cut new diagnoses in half over five years.

Photo credit: Phil Roeder https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/21581179719