Have you seen the news this week?? HIV has been a hot topic in light of Charlie Sheen’s announcement on Tuesday that he is one of the 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV. Overall, the local media did a great job reporting this news in a respectful tone with a focus on providing information. That, in itself, is so refreshing. Too often media reports about HIV are stigmatizing and lead to more blame and misunderstanding. We’ve seen a lot of negative and stigmatizing responses out there this week. Listen, if blame was the answer to HIV, we would not still see 50,000 new infections in the U.S. every year – we would not still see so many barriers for people living with HIV to access medical care.
I’ve been asked by media if the recent news has been good or bad. The truth is it can only be good if we use it as a moment to learn more, to support people with HIV, to fight the stigma that surrounds it. It’s up to us. This is our moment.
To everyone out there who have been educating people about HIV, to those who have been addressing stigma, thank you. For those out there who want to learn about HIV and do more to fight the stigma, NAP is ready to help you.
You can also help us. If you’re a fan of the work we do educating the public, providing free HIV and STI testing, supporting people living with HIV, and fighting against stigma through advocacy – you can join our fight!
Coming up on December 5th is Night of a Thousand Stars, NAP’s biggest fundraiser to support all of our programs and celebrate the progress we’ve made in the past year. Our Honorary Chair is Andrew Rannells, famous for the BOOK OF MORMON. Join us to support NAP!
If you’re unable to join us at Night of a Thousand Stars, please consider NAP for your year end giving. A $10 donation helps us provide free HIV and STI testing to an individual in the community. Help us do more. Donate today!
And last, but definitely not least – if you like many of us are appalled by the number of new STI diagnoses among our young people in the Omaha area, please reach out to your school board representatives and advocate for updates to the 30 year old Human Growth and Development curriculum at OPS. It’s past time.
Jordan Delmundo, MPA, MSW, is the new Executive Director of Nebraska AIDS Project. He got his start as an intern at NAP, then became a Case Manager, Grants Manager, and Policy Director before his current role. He believes it is time for OPS to support medically accurate and comprehensive sex education curriculum. The thing is 30 years old!!