Journey to the U.S. Conference on AIDS
By Patrick Ingram
September 2, 2013
So, this summer is as busy as ever with my work (both paid and not). I have been doing outreach to educate people on HIV, testing and counseling, creating new blog material, completing filming for an upcoming project, being involved with the fantastic Edugaytion show, wrapping up my Associates Degree, starting classes for my undergrad degree in Public Health, and raising money and training for the Grassroots Project running the Full Marine Corps Marathon.
For the first time ever, I will be attending The United States Conference on AIDS, which will be taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana. I will be going as a youth scholar for this phenomenal experience. I am extremely blessed and appreciative of the opportunity the National Minority AIDS Council and its staff have given me. During this event I look forward to networking, learning, sharing experiences, and gaining more knowledge about HIV/AIDS that can be taken back to my community. Looking back two years ago I would have never thought to be leaving a very good paying job and lifestyle to be doing what I love, which is doing work in a community that needs help, education on the epidemic of HIV, and overall support.
On Sept. 7, fresh off a 5K run, I will board a plane and fly out of the D.C. area and head toward the conference to represent my community, youth, people of color, people living with HIV, and most importantly you. It is very exciting to have opportunities ranging from a workshop on sexual health education as HIV prevention, a panel discussion I will be moderating on using storytelling using media and cultural arts, a workshop on strategizing and mobilizing to end the epidemic, a session on PrEP, and a round table assembly for people living with HIV.
While I am in New Orleans the plan is to keep you up to date on everything. Please keep up with me by following me on Instagram and Twitter as @PlusLifeofPat and the Pozlifeofpatrick Facebook page. These will be the sources I will be sending updates, thoughts, and experiences of USCA.
If you will also be at the U.S. Conference on AIDS please speak to me because I would love to interact with you all. Interested in USCA? Check out http://nmac.org/events/2013-u-s-conference-on-aids/.
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Patrick is a gay African-American male who is living with HIV. Patrick was diagnosed December 1, 2011 (World AIDS Day). Never the kind of individual to accept defeat, he has worked hard to spread awareness, education, resources and support to his community. By using his blog, his YouTube channel, and working alongside the Northern Virginia Gay Men's Health Collaborative and the Fredericksburg Area HIV AIDS Support Services (FAHASS), Patrick has worked hard to empower youth and people of color to know their HIV status and take steps to continue to care for themselves (positive or negative).
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