HIV 360° Fellow Spotlight: Lee Storrow
Earlier this year, HRC Foundation announced the inaugural class of the 2016 HIV 360° Fellowship Program. Made possible with generous support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, HIV 360° is a capacity-building fellowship program for young, non-profit leaders ready to take HIV-inclusive organizations and initiatives to the next level.
The HRC blog recently sat down with each of the fellows to discuss the program, their work, and their vision of an AIDS-free generation.
Lee Storrow, 27, is executive director of the NC AIDS Action Network (NCAAN). Before coming to NCAAN, Lee worked for the NC Alliance for Health as well as Ipas. Lee was elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council in 2011 and served for four years. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Strowd Roses Foundation and National AIDS Housing Coalition. He is also a member of the American Heart Association's National Advocacy Coordinating Committee. Lee is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.
How did you first get involved with the movement to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic? How, if at all, did that inspire you to become an HIV 360° Fellow?
I've always been dedicated to public health and social justice causes. Prior to coming to NCAAN, I worked for three years in tobacco prevention policy in North Carolina and had a background working in abortion access and reproductive health. It's inspiring to get to work with other activists in North Carolina to raise up the voices of those living with HIV and fight HIV and AIDS stigma.
Each fellow has been asked to design, implement, and evaluate a community service project to combat HIV transmission rates in their respective communities. Tell us about yours and what you hope to accomplish with it.
My project seeks to help expand access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once-daily pill that reduces the risk of acquiring HIV, in North Carolina. Earlier this year, we hosted PrEPing for 2017, a statewide PrEP summit with our partners at the UNC School of Medicine. The summit brought together activists from across the state and we'll be using the momentum of the conference to accelerate our local advocacy work. For example, we plan to increase the number of health departments and doctors that prescribe PrEP to North Carolina residents. We know that PrEP works to prevent HIV transmission, and it's time we got it in the hands of the communities most in need of it.
What is one key you've gained from the fellowship program? What have you enjoyed the most about it?
I feel like I'm part of a larger movement to combat HIV because of this fellowship program, especially in the South. I have a cohort of friends facing some of the same challenges and opportunities I am. We bounce ideas off of each other and I couldn't feel more supported by our cohort or the support staff at HRC.
How can people learn more about your organization and support the work you are doing?
The NC AIDS Action Network stands up for the rights of those living with and affected by HIV every day in North Carolina. You can visit our website to learn more, sign up to volunteer or make a contribution to support the work we do each and every day.
To learn more about the HIV 360° fellowship program itself, click here.