Two letters that have made a world of difference. They stand for Undetectable = Untransmittable and represent the scientific understanding that if you are taking your medication and have an undetectable HIV viral load, you are unable to transmit the virus to your sexual partners.
Unfortunately, not too many people know about U=U. Compounding the issue is also the fact that, in 2017, only 61% of people living with HIV in LA County were virally suppressed, the last step on the HIV care continuum.
But it all starts with our medical care coordinators! They move individuals who are diagnosed with HIV through the care continuum by (1) linking them to care, (2) supporting them so they stay in care, and finally, (3) helping them reach undetectable viral loads, which can stop the spread of the virus. When you ask for your next donation, tell your sponsor about U=U!
The layoffs and unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic showed how fine the line is between food security and insecurity. Within a few weeks of the March shutdowns, we saw a nearly 30% increase in the number of people who went to our food pantries. We’ve met the demand by strengthening partnerships across LA County, such as our recent collaboration with Project Angel Food, which began serving clients in July. Clients who are able to can get nutritious meals at the Vine Street location, but clients who are unable to travel because of any number of HIV/AIDS related health complications will be referred to Project Angel Food’s medically tailored meal delivery program, as they have been since the beginning of the organization’s partnership with APLA Health.
No one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, but the line between food security and insecurity is razor thin for some people and accessibility to nutritious food is a primary barrier. Our collaboration with partners is a giant step forward in making food and nutrition services more accessible to our clients.
Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive communities face unique challenges in healthcare settings and in obtaining health services. Within LGBTQ healthcare, it is necessary to recognize these barriers and work towards combating them. We’ve started that work by providing our community with staff who look like them and understand them. We’ll continue that work by providing programs that are affirming. And we could use your support to keep dismantling barriers.
Our Trans Connections program is a vital resource for transgender individuals to navigate health care and receive HIV prevention services. The funds you raise for AIDS Walk Los Angeles and the noise you make for us online are vital to expanding our programs to reaching more people. By working together, we ensure no one in our community will feel isolated, alone or lost.