Achieving Together: A Community Plan to End the HIV Epidemic officially launched on November 27, 2018, with our commitment to be a movement for everyone who is affected by HIV, to amplify the voices of people who often don’t get heard, and to build compassionate connections across communities. As we approach the end of the year, we’re looking back not only at 2021, but at the years since Achieving Together’s launch. Since Achieving Together began in November of 2018, we have heard from numerous organizations and individuals in the HIV community. We at Achieving Together are immensely grateful and humbled by the hard work, creativity, candor, and compassion we have observed over the past few years.
Let’s countdown the five most viewed blogs ever posted on the Achieving Together site. While this post only mentions five blogs, we appreciate and value each and every organization and individual who has contributed to the Achieving Together movement.
5. Talking with Carter Brown about National Transgender HIV Testing Day
In this post from April of 2019, Achieving Together spoke with Carter Brown, Founder and Executive Director of Black Transmen, Inc.
“I believe that every person has a passion about something and it starts there. Identify what you have a passion for and what your skill set is. Identify the issues – it could be trans-youth, eradicating homelessness within the trans-community. There are so many needs for the trans community. There is something that everyone can do.”
4. This is What Resilience Looks Like
In this post from January of 2019, Helen Turner wrote about her experience as a long-term survivor of HIV.
“I am thankful that I have the ability, the will, the gumption, TO LIVE OUT LOUD WITH A PURPOSE, to LEND MY VOICE and BE THE CHANGE to END HIV as an epidemic.”
In this post from May of 2019, Elias Diaz shared his personal journey with fear.
“Let’s break up with Fear. Let’s block His number and ignore His calls. Let’s put His pictures in a box and shove it under our bed… close enough so that we don’t forget what He put us through, but far enough to make room for someone else. Let’s change our bedsheets to get rid of the stench He left behind. Let’s get up, change our look, and go out into the streets to find somebody new.”
In this post from April of 2019, Ryan Garrett talked about his experience with PrEP.
“I appreciate PrEP and being able to share my story. There is something out there to protect you if you are going to be sexually fluid. You can’t trust anyone else—not when it comes to your health. But you can trust yourself. You can write your own story just like I am writing mine.”
1. Covering Texans’ Condom Needs: Texas Wears Condom and The Condom Distribution Network
Texans love their condoms. This post from September of 2020 has had more views than any other Achieving Together post. In this post, the Achieving Together team interviewed two organizations in Texas that distribute free mail order condoms online: Texas Wears Condoms and the Condom Distribution Network.
“…The purpose of the program is to educate the community and help reduce the spread of HIV and STIs in Texas by expanding free condoms access, improving condom knowledge and destigmatizing condoms/condom use. The program focuses heavily on destigmatizing and normalizing conversations around sex.” – Texas Wears Condoms
“By normalizing condom use, we believe we can address the stigma around sexual health and testing.” – Condom Distribution Network
We began our very first blog post with these words:
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.
We wish you a joyful and relaxing end to 2021 so that you may enter 2022 refreshed and ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.