Alliance in the News on World AIDS Day

 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Burton

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Burton

Alliance’s mission and the work of our staff and Peers was highlighted by several media outlets on World AIDS Day 2018. See below for a full roundup.

Marking 30 Years of World AIDS Day

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Statement from Sharen I. Duke, Executive Director & CEO, The Alliance for Positive Change, on the 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2018:

”As we mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2018, we reflect on the lives of those we've lost to AIDS and encourage all New Yorkers to get tested. This year’s theme is ‘Know Your Status’ and we are working to break down barriers to testing — stigma, fear, and discrimination — so that everyone gets tested and connected with prevention or care. While 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, 1 in 7 do not even know they have the virus. For those who test positive, early treatment is imperative to a healthy outcome. HIV is no longer the death sentence it was when we commemorated the first World AIDS Day 30 years ago, and we are working with New York State to end the epidemic here by 2020.

At Alliance for Positive Change, for the past 28 years, we have helped New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS get the care and support they need to feel better and create positive change for themselves and others. We are a community united in our fight to end HIV, and we stand in solidarity with the millions living with HIV worldwide.”

For information on free and confidential HIV testing in New York City, visit alliance.nyc/get-tested.

In Response to the Tree of Life Synagogue Attack

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All of us at Alliance are heartbroken by the violent, senseless, and ignorant attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend. We mourn for the victims and their families, who were confronted by this heinous act for simply practicing their faith. We will continue to fight against bigotry, intolerance, and hatred, and to advocate for inclusivity, acceptance, and love. It is more important than ever that we stand together for what is right.

MTV Shares Empowering Story of Alliance Heroes

Gary Higgins, a Peer Education and Training Specialist at Alliance, shares his experience of being diagnosed with HIV with MTV and Logo—and how his “sheroes” Sharen Duke (Alliance CEO) and Brenda Starks-Ross (Alliance COO) built him up and gave him confidence again.
 
This empowering video spotlights those living with HIV and the people who supported them no matter what. Diane Delph-Tiglin, an Alliance Peer and Trainer, is also featured alongside Gary! At Alliance, we make sure everyone who walks through our doors is lifted up, loved, and given the tools they need to thrive. As Gary says, Sharen, Brenda, and Alliance supported him “mentally and spiritually” throughout his journey.

You, too, can be a hero! Donate today to create positive change for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions. And, don’t forget to share Gary, Sharen, and Brenda’s inspiring story!

Summer of Testing

 Photo: David Nager/Alliance

Photo: David Nager/Alliance

The number of new HIV infections is going down in New York City, but now is not the time to be complacent. It is estimated that one in seven Americans with HIV do not know they are infected, and certain groups continue to bear a disproportionate burden of new infections, including women of color and young men who have sex with men (MSM).

Every New Yorker can do something to protect themselves and others: take an HIV test. Testing is the gateway to prevention services and education

This summer, we aim to raise $5,000 through our Summer of Testing campaign to fund HIV testing and counseling services, so that all New Yorkers are armed with the information they need to live healthy and productive lives.

A&U Highlights PREP’s 50th Graduation Ceremony

 Some of the PREP Cycle 50 graduates photographed before graduation, at the Midtown office of Alliance, after they gave their final presentations and speeches. (Photo: Alina Oswald)

Some of the PREP Cycle 50 graduates photographed before graduation, at the Midtown office of Alliance, after they gave their final presentations and speeches. (Photo: Alina Oswald)

A&U Magazine spoke with Alliance Executive Director/CEO Sharen Duke about our renowned Peer Recovery Education Program (PREP) and recent graduates of our 50th cycle. PREP empowers New Yorkers affected by HIV/AIDS, chronic health issues, and substance use to help others overcome health challenges.

Harm Reduction on BronxNet

Alliance's Velia Hernandez, Associate Director of Outreach, and Evelyn Lopez, Chief Program Officer, recently sat down to discuss our harm reduction programs -- including overdose prevention training -- with BronxNet, in English and Spanish! Watch both interviews below:

Open: Alliance for Positive Change

Dialogo Abierto: La Alianza para el Cambio Positivo

25 Years of Peer Recovery & Education

For two and a half decades, Alliance has empowered New Yorkers affected by HIV/AIDS, chronic health issues, and substance use to help others overcome health challenges as part of our renowned Peer Recovery Education Program (PREP).

Tuesday, May 29, marked a milestone as we graduated our 50th class of PREP program participants at a moving ceremony held at Mount Sinai Medical Center. 

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"Positive change is the hallmark of Alliance. It’s our mission, our mantra, our passion, our obsession and our goal. Peers are the people who truly transform challenge into positive in their own lives and in communities across New York City."

-- Sharen Duke, Founding Exec. Director/CEO of Alliance

Since its first class, more than 1,500 people have graduated from PREP, and these community ambassadors connect with over 15,000 New Yorkers every year.

Many of the graduates of this 8-week program have stories of loss and trauma, but also of hope – as they stepped up to confront their challenges, and enrolled in this program to feel better, live better and do better.

"By far, Sharen and the entire team of Alliance absolutely are the greatest advocates we can ever ask for… We know that lived experience is the most significant experience that we can share with another person who may not be in the place where we are today."

-- Johanne Morne, Director of NYS AIDS Institute

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New York City Council Member Mark Levine, who chairs the Council’s Health Committee, gave a special address to the graduates.

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"I am truly inspired the philosophy by the mission by the work of the Alliance, which is investing in lives and unlocking human potential… Each one of you is more inspiring than the next. This is really milestone for all of you; this is the beginning for all of you; it’s the beginning of a career. The role that you are about to play as peers is really the cutting edge of health care."

-- Council Member Mark Levine

The ceremony also featured a keynote speech by Florence Punch, Peer Alumni and graduate of the 23rd cycle of Peers, a photo presentation by Alliance Director of Photography David Nager, a testimonial by Peer Graduate Levi Stevenson, and a presentation of certificates (led by Brenda Starks-Ross, Jean Pierre-Louis, Joyce Myricks, and Stephen Williams).

Closing the event were remarks from Alliance Board Member Patrick Maher, who called the graduations “inspirational,” and then cited the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

He added, “It takes a lot strength and courage to change direction and forge a new path in life, and this graduation is another step in your journey.”

Photos: David Nager/Alliance

#SaveALife on Lite FM

 Reilly Glasgow, Alliance's LES Harm Reduction Center, with Nina de Rio

Reilly Glasgow, Alliance's LES Harm Reduction Center, with Nina de Rio

Reilly Glasgow, of the Alliance's Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, sat down with 106.7 Lite FM's Nina del Rio to discuss our overdose prevention efforts. 

Reilly has saved dozens of lives by administering Narcan to prevent overdose deaths. In this interview, he talks about his first-hand experience with the opioid crisis in NYC and how every New Yorker can #SaveALife.

Learn more: alliance.nyc/savealife

AM NewYork Highlights Positive Change Through Poetry

 LinkNYC kiosks are displaying work by Alliance for Positive Change's participants for National Poetry Month

LinkNYC kiosks are displaying work by Alliance for Positive Change's participants for National Poetry Month

While you are charging your phone at a LinkNYC kiosk this month, take a minute and soak in some poetry.

The electronic information boards will feature poems by clients of the Alliance for Positive Change, a nonprofit that helps people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.

For more than 15 years, the organization has offered creative writing classes that provide a safe and powerful outlet for people to express their life experiences.