As a Treatment Advocate, what message do you personally hope to communicate during the Pride season and how do you plan to do it?

Katrina's Answer

As a treatment advocate, I actually think we need to do a better job at separating HIV treatment and Pride. There are many many days throughout the year to advocate for equal access to health care, medication, and positive treatment outcomes for people living with HIV but I don’t think Pride is the place to do it. I think by continuing to lump the two together it reinforces the stereotype of HIV as a “gay” disease.  This is unfortunate because it diminishes the emphasis on prevention and treatment for people who do not identify as LGBTQ, and does not acknowledge the huge strides made within the LGBTQ community to prevent HIV among those who self identify as part of this community. While HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men and trans identified individuals, Pride should be a distinct event celebrating the culture of LGBTQ communities, the phenomenal political and social advancements that have been made in the (almost) 50 years since the Stonewall riots, and promoting self identity and inclusivity. If I were to advocate for treatment, my emphasis would be for PEP and PrEP access as a valuable resource to prevent HIV infection that unfortunately many people still don’t know about.  I think this is a way to be sex positive, gender inclusive, and relay broad messaging that applies to everyone who is celebrating Pride and not just a select few. Happy Pride everyone!


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