Welcome to the NHTD Partner Portal! Thank you for being a part of this year’s activation! This will be your go-to online resource for all things related to the 2019 National HIV Testing Day Community Partnership with Greater Than AIDS and Walgreens. FREE HIV Testing and Information at Select Walgreens Thursday, June 27th – National HIV Testing Day 10am – 7pm. Here you can find a timeline of key dates and deadlines, FAQs (see below), links to past webinars, and much more!
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I am proud of being a part of three different communities: Black People, Transgender People, and Women. I am always left in awe when I am in spaces that uplift those narratives and when all three are discussed together I am really floored. I do not think that there are enough intentional spaces that create a safety net in order for people to be raw and unedited when discussing HIV and how those intersections connect.
The community that I feel most connected to, is the community of people living with HIV. I am proud to work, struggle, and triumph alongside such brave and inspirational people.
I feel most connected with the community I live in which mostly consists of African Americans. I live in an urban environment in a low income setting. I take pride when asked to be a part of a community event. I strongly engage in being part of the solution to ending the stigma of HIV/AIDS.
As a person continuing to EVOLVE I feel most connected to my chosen family. Whether biological or not they are the ones that I feel most connected to, and take PRIDE in being a part of.
The community I feel most connected to is the LGBTQ community across the spectrum. I believe family is not what you are born into but what you make it. When I first discovered I was gay and also being a Black man I felt the connection and family bonds that I made with others that shared not only the same identity as me, but similar shared lived experiences as well. I saw others like myself exploring life and growing in the process to become beautiful, bold, and free, and that gave me a sense of belonging.
As someone who is beginning this journey. I feel mostly connected to the communities of HIV positive people and the one I engage with through my religion. They have become new homes for me. Spaces where I can be vulnerable and yet still feel strong. Being a part of movements such as HSWM and many others like it, has given me more than just PRIDE. It has given me LIFE!
I am a 66 year old African American Woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991. In 1995, I started doing volunteer work, and by 1998 I started my journey as a Peer Educator, Speaker, Activist and doing Outreach Work. The community I cherish and am most proud of are: 1. PWNUSA (PWNNYC), which is Positive Women working together, going on trips and working as Activists. 2. Long Term Survivors, a large group of people who share stories, problems, losing family members or mates and working together for a better life and tomorrow. Working with these two groups of hard working distinguished people is how I maintain a productive lifestyle. I do this by helping others with their health issues and problems and befriending those who are without family support, guidance, and/or affection.
I will always feel a part of, and take PRIDE in, the community of women. We must stand tall and stand up for each other and not tear each other down. But, the substance using community is one that is so stigmatized and so many talented and smart individuals are suffering in their addiction. I view some of them as tortured souls who are extremely misunderstood. I take PRIDE in surrounding myself with loving people…no matter what they might be doing or not doing. A drug does not define the quality of a human being. So, today I will stand with my brothers and sisters in the substance using community. If I did not do what I did…I would not be where I am right now. I am in a position to help so many people. This would not be possible if I had not taken the road I did and had the experiences I have had.
I identify with many communities, but the one I feel most connected to is the Substance Abuse/HIV Poz Community. This is because we all have relatively the same story. We are all in recovery, we became positive during our drug abuse, because of our drug abuse or started using drugs to cope with being positive. The reason I am so proud to be part of this community is because in spite of being positive and in spite of being drug addicts we have come out on top. We are strong and have survived something that destroys most people. Drug addiction and HIV are daily fights and being part of this community I know I am not alone in either.
As I continue to grow in this journey of self discovery while learning to love every fiber of myself the good, bad and indifferent, the community that I feel most connected with and take pride in being apart of of is the TGNCNB POC (Trans/Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary People of Color) with a focused and unapologetic love for African-American and Afro-Latino Women and Men of Trans Experience. As we celebrate Pride month in June I would like to thank and Acknowledge two Individuals in our Trans History that were at the forefront of the infamous 1969 StoneWall Riots. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera two P.O.C women of Trans Experience and Advocates because of their bravery and their unselfish acts to help ensure equality for Trans Voices and Visibility and Rights. I am blessed to have this platform. As we celebrate the 50 year Anniversary of the StoneWall Riots I can say I am HIV UNDETECTABLE and I cannot transmit the virus sexually. Let us chat about some numbers. In 2017, an estimated three million testing events occurred throughout the United States, in which Transgender individuals were diagnosed with HIV. that is three times MORE than the national average. In 2019, 14% of new HIV infections were Trans Women of which 44% were African American, 26% Latino and 7% White. Between 2009-2014, 58% Trans Men and 51% Trans Women made up the demographic of HIV positive individuals. Interesting numbers to say the least. #IAMU #HIVSTOPSWITHME.ORG Please visit for a list of testing resources within New York State.
This question had me reminiscing about some of the experiences that I have had with communities that I have tried be a part of, and how hard it was to feel connected to them or the people who were a part of them. My answer is not an indictment on anyone. IT IS MY TRUTH. It is from most of these experiences that I have garnered the most strength and courage to be authentic, not caring what anyone says or thinks about me. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, being a dark skinned person was hard, I did not fit in because being a lighter complexioned African American was an advantage. I experienced a lot of teasing and ridicule because of my dark skin and African features (big nose, full lips). My family were strict Pentecostal folks; my entire childhood was centered around the church, coming out at the age of 15 alienated me from them and began the deterioration of my relationship with my family. The LBGTQ Community while a place to be accepted has never given me the feeling of being connected. While those in the community rant and rave about equality, injustice and acceptance, they can be very cruel to those who do not meet their criteria in reference to physical attributes or monetary status. The community that I feel most connected with and take pride in being a part of is “the outcasts” of the world. Those of us who have been thrown away because we have been thought of as not enough in some way according to those that make the rules and set the tone for belonging to and being connected to a particular community. I am a voice for those people and I endeavor to create a community of purpose where they can come and get their needs met without reservation, fear, or judgment. My definition of a “community of purpose” is a community of people who come together and unify around empowering one another. We serve a functional purpose in one another lives. We are present for the good, bad and indifferent times of one another’s lives. Willing to do whatever is necessary to see our brother or sister do better and be better. No shade, no judgment, no biases or restrictions.
As I continue to grow in the HIV world, the community I take pride of being apart of is women, youth, and seniors. The reason for women is because women are caregivers. We give so much and sometimes we go without self care. When I first came to New York there were a lot of HIV services for women . Finding something now is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The second group is youth. Because the impact youth can have on their peers as leaders. Being infected as a youth ( 19 years old ) and doing speaking engagements for schools in the New York City area allows me to speak my truth, and provide the message about the importance of remaining HIV negative. I also give words of hope to those that are affected by HIV. Lastly, seniors because everyday I am getting older and living with HIV. Senior numbers of infection rates are going up because they are beyond child bearing age. So the thought of contracting HIV is not something many feel they should be concerned about. So these communities I feel a great deal of connection to.
As I continue this walk of living with HIV for the last 36 years and counting. I take pride in being a part of the LGBTQ community and medical community where I find acceptance, respect, guidance, love, education, and so much more. Being a people person it is comforting to know that I can go to just about anyone I meet and talk about whatever is going on. But when it comes to living with HIV and how others can protect themselves from this infection and other sexually transmitted infections, people seem to shy away from this conversation. The LGBTQ community has become a special part of my life where I can find information, education, understanding, acceptance, and solitude as I continued along my journey in learning more about myself and how to educate others.
I have been living with HIV going on 34 years now and have survived an AIDS diagnosis in the early nineties. I feel very grateful to have made it through those very taxing times. Because of my long history of living and now thriving with HIV/AIDS I feel most connected with the long term survivor community. I have had the honor of meeting many men and women from all over the country who are like me and when we talk about living with HIV decades ago, I feel that they really understand and can relate to my anxieties while still having the gratitude of surviving. Many of us have said it feels like a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as AIDS survivor syndrome from living in a time when death was looming over us constantly and losing so many friends too young. I am always happy to meet another long term survivor and am grateful that they have also made it this far with me. They are an extended family I am very proud to be a part of.
The community that I feel most connected to is the LGBTQ community. The most obvious reason is because as a gay man I am part of this community. I take pride in this community because we have had to fight as a community for everything. We have had to fight to have equal rights, fight against being stigmatized, fight for the right to marry who we choose, fight for a voice in a world where we are ostracized. I am most comfortable around my peers from my community because I can relate to them and we share some of the same concerns and issues. I am involved in my community to help others who may be struggling or just looking for other options. I take pride in knowing I can be proud of who I am and where I come from because my community makes noise and makes sure they stand as a voice for us all. We are all about inclusion whereas others are about dividing and conquering. I love my LGBTQ community and I value the connections I have within. I am a proud member. I am You.