New York: Group Helps Men Living With HIV
August 25, 2006
The Randy Shilts Center, founded by Art Caroll this spring, helps area HIV-positive men and their families deal with their condition. A regular assembly of about 18 comes to the center for weekly events such as dinners, bowling, discussion groups and gardening.
"The meals are elegant," Caroll said. "It is to create a family atmosphere. And then it shifts to the living room, and we all sit around and talk."
Some of the talk focuses on prevention. "We are very concerned with stopping the spread and transmission of HIV," said one man, whose partner is HIV-positive. "We hand out condoms and have candid discussion designed to educate people."
The center is housed at the Oakwood Presbyterian Church in Troy, and its $500-$600 monthly budget pays for rent, food, and publishing and mailing a monthly calendar. Caroll is working on getting nonprofit status for the center.
Caroll notes that the center is not about public activism or politics. "Part of the group is to give people a safe environment," he said.
The center is named after famed journalist Randy Shilts, who was a close friend of Caroll's. Shilts, who died of AIDS in 1994, wrote, "And the Band Played On: People, Politics and the AIDS Epidemic.
Times Union (Albany),
08.15.2006; Danielle Furfaro
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.