Today is World AIDS Day - an annual day to come together in the fight to end HIV, to stand with those living with HIV, and to honor those lost to AIDS-related complications.
I'm thinking of people I've known and lost today. And thinking too about the incredible people I'm honored to know who show up each day to push this movement forward - people living with HIV, activists, advocates, nurses, doctors, researchers and policy makers.
The South is the epicenter of the modern HIV crisis in the United States and there is a lot of urgent work to be done in expanding access to prevention, testing, and treatment. It's important that this work in the South be led by those most impacted, including Black people, young people, transgender people, and those who have been incarcerated.
As a County Commissioner, I'm proud that HIV prevention is part of how Buncombe County does public health - from offering PrEP at the public health department to coordinating new harm reduction strategies like a syringe exchange programs to funding community agencies that provide prevention and treatment programs. Onward.