Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Condition: Critical: Frank Talk on AIDS and Apathy from Ana Oliveira, the First Latina and Lesbian to Serve as Executive Director of Gay Men's Health Crisis

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Condition: Critical: Frank Talk on AIDS and Apathy from Ana Oliveira, the First Latina and Lesbian to Serve as Executive Director of Gay Men's Health Crisis

Article excerpt

How do groups balance providing client services with education efforts?

Educating a client is something that cannot be accomplished effectively before his or her basic needs are met. Once we are able to help clients with their daily sustenance issues, it is much easier to engage them around health education.

We are 25 years into the AIDS epidemic and we still cannot do enough with regard to services or prevention.

How do groups maintain visibility in the community in regard to HIV/AIDS?

We believe it is critical for success that we address the underlying factors of risk to HIV, which fuel HIV transmission. They include homophobia, poverty, stigma, depression, and substance abuse among others. We do this through individual and community interventions, including educational campaigns, that emphasize the value of people's lives to themselves and to each other.

What are the biggest challenges to fund-raising right now?

The perception that AIDS is either no longer a problem in this country, or if it is, it's someone else's problem. The incredible community mobilizations that occurred at the beginning of the epidemic were largely responsible for the advances in treatment that have made such a difference in the lives of so many people living with HIV. But it is too soon to declare victory and move on.

The challenges of raising funds are helped by community and public education that emphasize the acute crisis still facing us from HIV and AIDS. …

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