By Cordella Lyon, Achieving Together Partner
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
– Arthur Ashe
Now is the time to end HIV as an epidemic in Texas. We know that when people have access to the tools, when they are not stigmatized, they have better health care, better health outcomes, and we all are better off. We have healthier communities and more productive work environments.
Developing this plan has been a magical journey. We came together as a diverse group from across the state. We put our ideas up on a board. In one year, we turned all those different ideas into a tangible plan. Achieving Together is an opportunity to really, REALLY make a difference. This movement will impact lives we may never even see.
Community means everyone. We interact with each other at different points and at different times. We need to step outside ourselves and accept people as they are, however they are, in each moment rather than where we want them to be or who we want them to be. We have to be willing to understand people’s intentions and not just their actions. When we don’t know, we may act out of fear.
If you ask me how you can get involved, I say start at the beginning:
1. Encourage everyone to get tested. The knowledge of our status will give us the power to end new cases of HIV in Texas.
2. Inspire our loved ones to get tested.
3. Support those who have been diagnosed with HIV to get into care and stay in care.
Take a look at the Achieving Together website and plan and find the part that speaks to your passion and strengths.
We are living at a point in history where we can end the HIV epidemic. There is a foundation that’s been built through years of experience, research, and dedicated work. We know what works and the support that is needed to be in place in order to get there. We need you to be a part of this movement. Get on board, together we can end new cases of HIV!
Cordella Lyon is a Registered Nurse and Program Coordinator of Preventative Screening at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. Ms. Lyon has been a regional consultant for the office of Minority Health, is a Regional Co-Chair for the Texas HIV Syndicate, and member of the Achieving Together Steering Committee to End the HIV Epidemic in Texas. She is a Top Lady of Distinction (TLOD) and member of Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (Gulf Coast Chapter).
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