“Coming out as a trans person has been shaping my coming out as a person living with HIV. It's still something that may be very, very scary in the present, but it is something necessary to smash the stigma and spread the truth about HIV. People think that HIV is some looming, dreaded disease, but really and truly, it's something that we can live with and manage. It's just like any other epidemic. That's what I want: forming groups governed by trans people, for trans people, to show that we are capable. We are individuals that are capable of great benevolence; of great knowledge; and also of humanness, compassion, beauty.”
Community Leadership Messages
"The Fast-Track City linkage to care strategy provides people who are newly diagnosed with HIV a close-knit team of doctors, patient navigators, and additional psycho-social support providers to ensure they have holistic, wrap-around support while taking this often overwhelming step on their journey in health care. No one who is living with HIV should feel they are defined by their health status alone. The Fast-Track model allows people to become active participants and partners in navigating their healthcare in order to achieve not only their health-focused goals, but also to empower each other as a community to stand up for our rights to efficient, effective, compassionate, and patient-focused care."
“The sigma often associated with a diagnosis of HIV and AIDS remains an obstacle to quality care and treatment even today. A positive diagnosis is no longer the death sentence that it used to be. Today, this is an extremely manageable disease, especially if patients seek treatment early.”
“Southern Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is constantly in the top 10 cities in the United States for new cases of HIV and AIDS. There are many reasons why Southern Louisiana has been hit so hard with theHIV/AIDS epidemic. Race, poverty and poor education are some of the main drivers for the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Louisiana”
“People living with HIV need help to set goals toward viral suppression after they're newly diagnosed. We focus too much on getting people tested and not much on the benefits of living a healthy life with HIV, being part of the prevention solution, and playing a role to curb HIV in our community. It's about being healthy beyond "test and treat" and reinforcing people living with HIV to achieve long term goals and better health outcomes.”
“We are on the frontlines of the HIV epidemic in New Orleans and as a Fast Track City we at CrescentCare will continue our on-going efforts to scale-up access to treatment and prevention."
“CrescentCare and the City of New Orleans are working together to fulfill our commitment to the Fast Track Cities Initiative. Together we’ve started over 100 people on therapy within days of their diagnosis- treatment is prevention, and with a coordinated citywide effort, we will get there.”