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Living Well

By Gerry Hoyt

May 2001

It is hard to believe I began my relationship with AIDS Survival Project (ASP) almost five years ago as a volunteer. Being a peer counselor really influenced my life in an affirming way and as I continued to volunteer at ASP, I realized this was an important component of my well-being.

In 1998, I was hired by the agency to first manage the Operation: Survive! Program and later the Peer Counseling Program. As many of you may remember, last February, I had a heart attack followed by several bouts of pancreatitis precipitating an extended and unwanted leave of absence. Last October, I was again fortunate enough to return to ASP in the capacity of Special Projects Coordinator. This position has allowed me to work with both the advocacy we do here at ASP as well as some of the administrative duties that always seemed to fall to Jeff Graham or Mike Moreno. It has been a fulfilling balance of work. This is a good place to be.

Now I find myself wearing yet another hat and trying to fill the shoes of our esteemed editor, Joe Greenwood. (Sorry, Joe, about the mixed metaphors.) Granted, I have followed some awesome folks in the past. Folks like Alicia Culver and Lesley Brogan, both of whom I hold in the highest regard. But somehow, I find taking this position a little scarier than any I have held here at ASP.

Joe was my trainer when I was learning how to be a group facilitator for Operation: Survive!! Once again, I find myself under his patient tutelage, this time to become editor of Survival News. His articulate writing and editing skills have brought this publication to the place it is today -- one of the best in the country. I know he will be a tough act to follow but this will be a challenge I am sure will be rewarding. With this in mind, I want our readers to know, as the editor of Survival News, I pledge to continue to make this publication a medium through which they can find the latest advocacy and treatment education information available. In addition, Survival News will be a place where you can read the perspectives and opinions of various writers living with HIV.

As I begin as the editor of Survival News, I want to acknowledge some of the volunteers who make this publication available to you every month. In this month's volunteer profiles, you can read about Bridget Murphy and Gates Marketing, the folks who distribute Survival News each month. In addition, I want to recognize our cartoonist, Chris Companik and writers David Salyer, Guy Pujol and Ernie Evangelista. Thanks goes to the staff of ASP also, who in spite of the pressures of running their own programs, somehow make time to contribute an article monthly. I would also like to welcome our newest volunteers, Alexander Monarch, who brings with him a journalism background, and Phillip W. Byrd who has agreed to be our staff photographer. As with every program at ASP, we could not do this without the generosity and talents of our volunteers. Thank you all!

Looking to future issues, do you have any comments or issues you would like to see addressed? Do you have something to say? Would you like to volunteer with this publication? If so, call me at 404-874-7926, extension 16, or e-mail me at

This article was provided by AIDS Survival Project. It is a part of the publication Survival News. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

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