This Pride Month join the fight against HIV!
June is Pride Month – a time to celebrate the diversity, activism, culture, and accomplishments of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the years.
What is Pride Month?
Pride Month pays tribute to the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a catalyst for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.
A year after the uprising, the first Pride demonstration occurred in New York City in 1970 for Gay Pride Week (June 22 – 28). Since then, commemorations have been celebrated worldwide – each with their own traditions.
This June marks the 53rd anniversary of the first Pride parade.
HIV has been linked with gay men’s health since the early 1980s when officials initially termed what would later become known as AIDS, Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID).
Both the LGBTQIA+ community and the HIV community have relentlessly worked to educate and advocate to decrease stigma and discrimination – and you can make a difference.
How to celebrate Pride Month
- Know your rights! Thanks to the Fair Housing Act (FHA), everyone can finally access fair housing. We can connect you with housing opportunities.
- Get tested (or take a friend): Take Pride in knowing your status – visit your doctor to get tested. Click here to schedule an appointment. Want to know more about HIV testing? Click here.
- Be an ally! People living positive lives need an understanding and supportive space to share their experiences. Learn the dos and don’ts to creating a safer space for people living with HIV.
- Share your experiences: We know representation matters and we know that when people see others sharing their experience with HIV, they might relate.
- The Take Control HIV community is working to elevate the voices of HIV allies. Recently, we spoke to Tim’m West, author, Hip-Hop recording artist, educator, and lifelong HIV advocate, about his experience with HIV. Just like Tim’m, you too can thrive with HIV – all it takes is community, compassion and advocacy. To read his story, click here.
- Educate so you can advocate: Receiving an HIV diagnosis may leave you feeling many emotions. We’ve created three booklets to use as a resource for living with HIV or supporting someone living with HIV. Misinformation leads to stereotypes, so part of advocating is learning about HIV testing, treatment and what your HIV status means.
- Embrace your status! Whether positive or negative, the more you speak about your status, the more confident and empowered you will feel.
- Keep thriving: Thrive with HIV when you start antiretroviral therapy (ART), an HIV treatment to help you gain an undetectable status.
- Attend a Pride event: On July 29, the Take Control HIV community will be at the Pride Festival of Central Pennsylvania. This is the 31st anniversary of the event, which will be held at Soldiers Field, PA State Capitol.
HIV testing will be provided by UPMC Project REACCH from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and our team will have resources to connect to care.
As you attend Pride events, remember to stay up to date with your sexual health care, like getting vaccinated against mpox (formerly monkeypox), which is related to the virus that causes smallpox.
- Getting both doses of the mpox vaccine.
- Getting tested for HIV, STIs and mpox. Mpox is often transmitted through physical contact.
- Visiting your healthcare provider if you think you have symptoms of mpox.
- Donate: If you’re able to donate to the fight against HIV, there are many nonprofits and charitable organizations you can help, including:
- Share resources! The Take Control HIV has a variety of resources you can utilize to support the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities during Pride and beyond, including:
You can also follow our Facebook and Instagram pages and share our content to your stories!
Connecting to care is easy
For additional resources, fill out this form and get the help you need today.