8 Advocates Share Their Top HIV Policy Issues at AIDSWatch 2019

8 Advocates Share Their Top HIV Policy Issues at AIDSWatch 2019

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On April 1, over 500 people living with HIV and their allies from 40 states across the U.S. headed to Capitol Hill for AIDSWatch. There, they passionately advocated about issues affecting their communities, both locally and on a national level.

As Bill McColl, vice president for policy and advocacy for AIDS United, said, "This is the first AIDSWatch since the government announced that they are going to end the AIDS epidemic. The community is ready to do it, and we have to take Congress to task about ending the epidemic."

Here, we feature a handful of those advocates (a random sample, though not selected scientifically) and the concerns most significant to them.

*AIDSWatch is the annual HIV advocacy event that brings together members of the HIV community with national leaders. Presented by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, the event was held April 1 and 2 in Washington D.C., organized by AIDS United, the Treatment Access Expansion Project, and the US People Living with HIV Caucus.

Charles Sanchez is an openly gay, openly poz writer/director/actor living in New York City. He has written for WritingRaw.com and HuffPost's Queer Voices. As a performer, musical director, and director, he has worked in venues ranging from Lincoln Center and off-Broadway to dinner theater in Arkansas. His award-winning musical comedy web series, Merce, is about an HIV-positive guy living in New York who isn't sad, sick, or dying.*

Image Credit: Clockwise from bottom left: Bill McColl, LaWanda Wilkerson, Cris Sardina, and Mona Bennett at AIDSWatch 2019. (Credit: Charles Sanchez and Mark S. King)

On April 1, over 500 people living with HIV and their allies from 40 states across the U.S. headed to Capitol Hill for AIDSWatch. There, they passionately advocated about issues affecting their communities, both locally and on a national level.

As Bill McColl, vice president for policy and advocacy for AIDS United, said, "This is the first AIDSWatch since the government announced that they are going to end the AIDS epidemic. The community is ready to do it, and we have to take Congress to task about ending the epidemic."

Here, we feature a handful of those advocates (a random sample, though not selected scientifically) and the concerns most significant to them.

*AIDSWatch is the annual HIV advocacy event that brings together members of the HIV community with national leaders. Presented by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, the event was held April 1 and 2 in Washington D.C., organized by AIDS United, the Treatment Access Expansion Project, and the US People Living with HIV Caucus.

Charles Sanchez is an openly gay, openly poz writer/director/actor living in New York City. He has written for WritingRaw.com and HuffPost's Queer Voices. As a performer, musical director, and director, he has worked in venues ranging from Lincoln Center and off-Broadway to dinner theater in Arkansas. His award-winning musical comedy web series, Merce, is about an HIV-positive guy living in New York who isn't sad, sick, or dying.*

Image Credit: Clockwise from bottom left: Bill McColl, LaWanda Wilkerson, Cris Sardina, and Mona Bennett at AIDSWatch 2019. (Credit: Charles Sanchez and Mark S. King)