NEWS

In This Issue

With Hurricane Irma works its way from the Florida Coastline and into Georgia and Alabama, after hammering several islands in the Caribbean, and as recovery efforts are struggling to get started in Houston, our thoughts and our prayers are with our friends, family and loved ones in the Caribbean, Houston, and Florida.

The images of the devastation caused by the two hurricanes will be forever seared in our memories like the images from Hurricane Katrina and the numerous natural disasters from Haiti. But the impact of natural disasters goes deeper than the dramatic images that we see. and sometimes we don't realize the various ways that people are harmed by these disasters. For example, there are people who are living with HIV who have to take their medications every day, and whose access to their medications are being interrupted. There are people in treatment for addictions who are not going to be able to get their treatment. There are people who are on kidney dialysis. During these natural disasters, health issues are almost always interrupted and sometimes with deadly effects that may not materialize during the peak of the crisis. And as is the case with most things, poor people, people of color, and marginalized people are particularly harmed. We are working with our partners in the impacted areas to see how we can be helpful in expediting the recovery process and providing support. We urge everyone to find ways that they can help.

We spent this past week in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA). During USCA we were involved in a number of projects and initiatives. We released our latest report in our State of Black America Series: "Access Denied: The State of Healthcare Access in Black America". You can download that report here. We also sponsored a Town Hall Meeting, several workshops on PrEP, and a Black delegation of 25 activists from around the country. Look for stories about USCA in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, September 16th, we are honoring 6 remarkable women and Novant Health at the annual Heroes in the Struggle Gala Reception and Awards Presentation at 20 Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles. This star-studded event promises to be one of the hot tickets during Emmy weekend. The event is hosted by Jussie Smollett (Empire, Alien: Covenant), Celebrity presenters include Mahershala Ali (Moonlight and Hidden Figures), Terrence Howard (Empire), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), John Singleton, Van Jones, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Ryan Cougler (Fruitvale, Creed) with a special musical tribute by Ledisi. Tickets are still available at www.heroesinthestruggle.org.

In this issue, we run our final three Heroes in the Struggle profiles: for producer, director, actor and activist Gina Belafonte and her nonprofit group, Sankofa; New Orleans HIV/AIDS activist Gina Brown; and our corporate Hero, Novant Health.

Additionally, this week we learn more about Health Models program that the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund supports. And we wrap up with a piece on President Trump's most recent move to undermine the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Yours in the struggle,

Phill