Achieving Together Celebrates One Year

As 2019 draws to a close, we celebrate the one-year anniversary since Achieving Together launched as a statewide community movement to end the HIV epidemic in Texas.

2019 marked the beginning of the second phase of the Achieving Together journey. After an intense year of development in 2018, partners brought the Achieving Together Plan to their communities, shared the framework with colleagues and community, and began to align their work with the goals and focus areas of the plan.

What happened in 2019?

While it is impossible to capture all of the changes that have occurred in the national and state environment, several developments will help build a supportive context for the work of Achieving Together, including:

National Changes

Political and funding support

  • President announces Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America
  • Phase 1 of “ending the HIV epidemic” funding launched to 50 jurisdictions through CDC and HRSA, including 5 cities in Texas
  • Gilead announces donation of PrEP for approximately 200,000 Americans

Addressing Stigma

  • Several celebrities disclose HIV status
  • Support for inclusive language, including Latinx and they/them
  • APA formatting style endorses the use of the singular “they” pronoun
  • AMA defines violence against transgender community as an epidemic after a record number of transwomen were murdered, including 5 in Texas 

Biomedical advances

Statewide Expansions

New & expanded programs

  • Dallas becomes a Fast Track City, joining San Antonio, Austin, and Houston in a growing list of Texas cities committed to ending HIV as an epidemic
  • More programs offer PrEP and rapid initiation of ART
  • San Antonio launches a new needle exchange program
  • Texas DSHS continued to expand capacity for health equity through statewide technical assistance calls, development of the Texas Health Leaders Fellowship development to launch in 2020, and work with the Texas Transgender Alliance

Achieving Together Partners in Action

Through the passion and dedicated work by Achieving Together Partners like you, we are moving forward, raising awareness within the HIV workforce, and taking action toward our goals.

Achieving Together Partners are advocates. In 2019, partners reported that they worked for a wide range of issues as shown below.

2020 Vision

2020 will bring a focus on strategic implementation. It is important to focus on taking action in ways that will have a big impact on the Achieving Together goals, with everyone doing their part in a coordinated way. Achieving Together reported some areas where they want to focus in 2020 as shown below.

Thank you for the gifts you bring. Thank you for doing your part.

We will be taking a month off from posting blogs, but look forward to continuing this movement together in 2020.

World AIDS Day 2019

World AIDS Day began in 1988 to draw attention to the HIV crisis ravaging communities across the globe.  Since its beginning, it has served as a time to pause and remember the devastating impact that HIV has had on communities and families.  As we collectively envision an end to HIV, and as we work to bring that vision to reality, we must also pause to remember the history and lives that have brought us to this time.  The possibilities that we see now are only because of the tireless work of so many activists, communities, and individuals who gave everything in the hope that one day this would be over. 

This World AIDS Day, as we continue to work toward an end to HIV, we remember those friends, colleagues, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and partners that we have lost.

As the theme of this year’s US Conference on AIDS so rightly stated, we are “ending the epidemic in their memory.”

World AIDS Day activities are occurring across the state.  What are you doing in your community to remember those who carried us to this possibility? 

Achieving Together Celebrates National Coming Out Day

October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day where the LGBTQ people come together to celebrate and support one another, raise awareness about their communities, and take a public stand against homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, ignorance and discrimination.

Coming out is lifelong process. It means different things to different people. It can mean coming out to yourself, coming out to a friend or family member, or coming out to a larger group or community.

Wherever you are on your journey:

KNOW THAT YOU ARE FIERCE!

KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED!

KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  

What does coming out mean to you?