Posts Tagged ‘INFORM’

Donations Needed for HIV Testing Programs

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

HVCS isn’t afraid to have tough conversations. We shine a light on problems that thrive in the darkness. That’s only one of the tools we can use to bring new HIV infections to zero because of the support we have received from people like you. You have also inspired us to be the strongest of advocates in preventing HIV/AIDS.  That is why we would like to share with you Louis’ story.

Louis is twenty-four, has one more year of grad school, identifies as gay and is, by all outward appearances, happy and successful. Yet sometimes he doesn’t feel like he’s got it all together—he copes with low self-esteem and anxiety. He has a supportive family but feels like he’s not attractive or smart enough and worries about the future. Sometimes in social situations he relies on “liquid courage”—he has a few drinks. He wants a long-term commitment (and, one day, a husband) but knows that as a young gay man he’s at higher risk for HIV infection. The things he did to feel better about himself, like going out and drinking, only made things worse. “It felt like the odds were stacked against me,” he said. “I felt pretty hopeless and scared.”

Until he came in for a free HIV test offered our INFORM program, which specializes in HIV prevention for men who have sex with men.  The INFORM specialist told him that he could diminish his fear of contracting HIV by going on PrEP. The specialist connected him to a medical provider and worked out insurance coverage. He also referred Louis to a counselor to address his self esteem, supplied him with condoms, and discussed strategies for having a good time at parties without risking his health. “Now I always go with friends, and we make a pact to watch out for each other.” Louis feels more in control and  less anxious about the future now that he’s equipped with more tools to stay healthy. By helping us to activate an entire network of supports—from his doctor to his friends to his therapist—you’re helping Louis stay as healthy as possible while staying true to his dreams and goals.

We know you share our belief that a thriving Hudson Valley is made up of residents who are living their full potential: healthy, active and enjoying all the wonderful things that make this a great place to live. But even with nearly forty years of studying how and why HIV is transmitted, Hudson Valley residents are still being infected with HIV. So we still need your help.  Those who were at the highest risk decades ago are still at high risk because most people have a tough time talking about sexuality, desire, substance abuse, and race.  This silence, combined with entrenched stigma against those with AIDS, allows HIV to spread through our communities—communities we need to stay healthy and strong if we’re to be a vibrant, colorful Hudson Valley.

What if Louis hadn’t come to us for a free HIV test? Though we believe that HIV testing is an opportunity to educate and engage people at high risk for HIV, government contracts don’t cover the full cost of offering those HIV tests for free. Our prevention programs are now operating in the red–and we may be forced to conduct fewer tests.

So we invite you to join us once again in keeping HIV prevention in the conversation. Your contribution means we can keep our HIV prevention programs strong. So please continue to help us build healthy communities right here in the Hudson Valley. Preventing the spread of HIV now means that more people can live their full potential.

Please give today.

 

Testing All Queens! Drag Show, Dinner & Fundraiser

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Testing All Queens 2016SUNY New Paltz’ Queens & Kings of New Paltz, an on-campus drag club, presents the 2nd Annual “Testing All Queens!” drag show fundraiser on Saturday, December 3rd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the Student Union Building. This outrageously fun holiday-themed event features performances by future drag all-stars, dinner by Pasquale’s, DJ music by Dangerboy, and a guest speaker from Love Heals. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for non-students, all to benefit HVCS. Our Project INFORM team will be on hand with sexual health info, condoms, lube and other goodies, too.

Last year’s event was a ton of fun, and we were so inspired by these talented drag kings and queens that we wound up hiring them for our other drag events later in the year! This is one event you don’t want to miss!

Plus: there’s a just-added afterparty! Village Pizza hosts the fun with drink and food specials and another surprise drag show at midnight.

Testing All Queens Afterparty

World AIDS Day, Free HIV Testing: Kingston

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

World AIDS Day
Thursday, December 1 (2:30 p.m. @ the Center)

Free and confidential HIV/STI screenings provided by Hudson Valley Community Services’ Project INFORM.

World AIDS Day
Thursday, December 1 (5:30 p.m. @ the Center)

Join with those affected by HIV and AIDS, their loved ones and allies for a day to honor our past & take action for our future. Speakers, music by Key of Q and a candlelight walk from the Center will precede a special service at the Old Dutch Church.

“Testing All Queens” Gets Its Own Afterparty

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

This just in! The Queens and Kings of New Paltz announced that their HVCS fundraiser, “Testing All Queens,” extends beyond the on-campus dinner and show this Saturday night with an official afterparty at Village Pizza! Join them for more shenanigans, $11 pies, and drink specials at this popular New Paltz hangout starting at 10:00 pm. Plus, there will be a surprise drag show at midnight so you get two shows in one night! $2 cover to benefit HVCS.

Testing All Queens Afterparty18 and up, 21 to drink. For more info on Testing All Queens see our previous post.

SUNY New Paltz Drag Club Presents “Testing All Queens!” on Dec 3

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Testing All Queens 2016SUNY New Paltz’ Queens & Kings of New Paltz, an on-campus drag club, presents the 2nd Annual “Testing All Queens!” drag show fundraiser on Saturday, December 3rd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the Student Union Building. This outrageously fun holiday-themed event features performances by future drag all-stars, dinner by Pasquale’s, DJ music by Dangerboy, and a guest speaker from Love Heals. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for non-students, all to benefit HVCS. Our Project INFORM team will be on hand with sexual health info, condoms, lube and other goodies, too.

Last year’s event was a ton of fun, and we were so inspired by these talented drag kings and queens that we wound up hiring them for our other drag events later in the year! This is one event you don’t want to miss!

 

Online Mens’ Health Workshop

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Oct28_onlineworkshop

ALERT and INFORM Get “Equal” Time with Jack Mackenroth

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Staffers from our ALERT and INFORM teams (both programs are part of our Regional Prevention Initiative) performed HIV testing at SUNY Purchase’s “HIV Equals” event on March 14th. Claribel and Bryn went there on our behalf, and tested 80 people that day in just 5 hours–amazing! HIV Equals is a new social media/photo campaign created by former Project Runway contestant and HIV activist Jack Mackenroth and celebrity photographer Thomas Evans. HIV Equals works with the  World Health Clinicians located in Norwalk, CT. “Our campaign’s focus is to encourage knowing your HIV status as well as remove the stigma attached to individuals living with the HIV virus,” they say.

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Gia Gunn and “The Needle Prick Project” founder Tyler Curry were also there. (Claribel, Bryn – we’re so jealous you got to go!)

Find out more about the campaign at  www.HIVequal.org.