Qnotes Issue, November 25, 2022

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life, positively

Special world’s AIDS Day section on pages 14-31

Club Q shooting survivor

Charlottean Barrett Hudson was among the victims of an anti-LGBTQ attack at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where five perished and 35 were injured. Hudson was shot in the back seven times and survived with only minor injuries. He live-streamed his story on Facebook.


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Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 3 connect
contributors this issue Writers: Eric Griggs, Juwan J. Holmes L’Monique King, David Aaron Moore, Chris Rudisill, Gregg Shapiro, Terri Schlichenmeyer, Molly Sprayragen, Connie Vetter front page Graphic Design by Will Kimbrough Photography/Illustration: Carolina Care Partnership
18 HIV and the evolution of Carolinas Care Partnership 20 Aging with HIV 4 Charlotte resident shot seven times in Colorado anti-LGBTQ bar attack 5 Equality-minded voters stop ‘red wave’ 5 First out lesbian governor in US elected 6 North Carolina Wins Big in Global MCC Awards 6 Iconic Midnight Diner moved in middle of night 7 Documentary on 1990 lesbian murder screened at UNCW 17 Trump wouldn’t, Biden did 9 Out In Print: The Family Outing: A Memoir 26 Queer and HIV erasure in museums 8 Legal Eagles: Fighting for the rights of the people 11 Health & Wellness:The Colonoscopy Chronicle 22 HIV/AIDS service organiza tions 28 Free HIV testing locations 31 Our People: Chelsea Gulden
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Charlotte man shot in Colorado anti-LGBTQ bar attack

Barrett Hudson survives, livestreams via Facebook from hospital room

At press time during the early morn ing hours of Monday, Nov. 21, the latest reports from national news services confirmed five people were dead and more than 25 had been shot or injured in some manner during a terrorist style anti-LGBTQ shooting that took place in Colorado Springs, Colo. at a local LGBTQ bar there known as Club Q.

Arrested for the attacks and multiple deaths was Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22.

Among the injured was Charlotte resident Barrett Hudson, who had only recently moved to Denver and was visiting Colorado Springs for the weekend when the attack occurred.

Multiple friends took to Facebook and other social media, voicing their con cerns for Hudson and sharing news of the tragedy.

One individual who described himself as Hudson’s best friend, confirmed that Hudson had been shot seven times but that there was no internal organ damage. He explained at that time Hudson was currently in surgery and had been for several hours, and he told readers that Hudson was expected to survive without complication, but had a long road of recovery ahead.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. in the eve ning on Saturday, Nov. 19

Hudson had regained consciousness and recovered enough that he decided to give a Facebook conference to show friends he was on a much faster path to recovery than expected, and to describe what had happened at Club Q.

“So I made it. I don’t know how the fuck I made it, but I made it. It was the second worst thing…” his voice trailed off momen tarily before continuing.

“I just wanted to talk because I am bored as fuck, but I am doing amazing in my recovery. I have some pictures of my back, but I haven’t posted them yet. I got shot seven times in the back with an AR15,” he continued.

“The club had no security; there are

more deaths than they’re telling every body, and the numbers keep going up.

I’ve heard different things, I was there. Our community is targeted more than other[s]. Gays, transgender, Black Lives Matter, the hate comes after us more than other people. But I am doing really good.

If I wasn’t doped up on all this medicine, I would be crying in pain. So I’m going to tell y’all a little bit of the story.”

“I’ve still got blood all over me,” he announces abruptly as he glances down at himself.

“We went to the club last night to go watch a drag show, and some dude walked in with an AR-15 and started shoot ing people, and I got shot seven times in

the back. I fell down; he kept shooting me. I got up, I ran to the back door, I hopped on a table – and all this was with seven bullets in me – to climb a fence, and I think the fence had barbed wire on the top of it. I’m not sure. I went about 30 yards after that. I had to jump down from a first floor parking garage. I jumped down and my knees are all busted up.

“I ran to the 7-Eleven, and I made it to the floor, and these people helped me. They started counting all the bullet holes and they were like one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I thought I was going to bleed out. I thought I was going to die. I had lost a lot of blood, and they had to put a lot of blood in me.

“I called my dad, that was the first person I called,” he laughed. “I don’t know why I’m laughing. I’m laughing because of all this damn medicine. I shouldn’t be alive, but I have great news. All the bullets missed my organs. They missed my spine [and] they missed my colon.

“I really feel for the people who didn’t make it. I know their families got calls, but I was able to call my dad and say goodbye.

Amidst the Happy Tears and Pain Medication-Induced Banter

Hudson suddenly fell quiet and stared directly at the camera. “I saw him,” he said, in reference to Aldrich. Following that softspoken pronouncement, it was difficult to ascertain what Hudson was saying. His speech became broken and somewhat impaired. He regained his composure and most of his communication skills a few moments later.

“I have been given a second chance in life,” he said. “I moved to Colorado, but I don’t think I’m going to stay. I’m going to have to do all my rehabilitation thing in Charlotte, and I don’t have anybody to drive me here. It would be a lot, and thank God I can feel my feet and my toes, I can move everything. My left side is fucked up; they had to cut me all in through here, and none of the bullets went through.

“I’ve got a lot more to say, but I’m not sure how much I can say. Of course, I can say what the fuck I want, but they’ve kind of asked me to be quiet for now. I was asked by the FBI today if I would be com fortable if they gave [my information to] President Biden and I think the [Governor] of Colorado. They want information from me or something.”

“But, yeah, nah, I’m strong. I got this. I just got to eventually get over all this shit. Some more therapy, it’s going to be awful.

“I’m going to end it on this note,” he announced, as he briefly looked away from the camera and then back again. “This is not the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not going to cry. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when [my boyfriend] Michael died. Beside me. That’s the worst thing.

“All right, I’m getting off here. Bye-bye.” ::

4 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022 CONNECT. ENGAGE. EMPOWER. To Become a Member or Partner:
Connie J. Vetter, Esq. Attorney at Law, PLLC Your LGBTQ+ Law Attorney serving Clients from across North Carolina Talk/Text 704 333 4000 or online news
704.837.4050 www.clgbtcc.org info@clgbtcc.org
Barrett Hudson describing horrific events from hospital bed. PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook screen capture

Equality-minded voters stop ‘red wave’

Americans rejected extremism and anti-LGBTQ attacks

New polling released Nov. 17 by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shows the 2022 election defied pre-election predictions of a massive “red wave” in no small measure because equality-minded voters pushed back against extremism and voted to protect commonly held values and our democracy.

Across the country, election deniers and right-wing extremists lost winnable elections because they advocated views that are out-of-touch with average voters, particularly the huge number of equalityminded voters who made the critical difference up and down the ballot. Polls show that equality-minded voters support LGBTQ+ equality and number around 62 million nationwide.

They represented 39 percent of the 2022 electorate—a number that reflects the grow ing political strength of this voting bloc— and tend to be younger and more racially diverse than the electorate as a whole.

“Republicans lost because they nomi nated extreme candidates, conspiracy theorists and far-right radicals who advo cated extreme positions, including attacks on an LGBTQ+ community that grows more politically powerful every election cycle,” said Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President.

At the U.S. House level, 81 percent of equality-minded voters supported the Democratic candidate. Equality-minded voters delivered similar margins for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates and

Democratic candidates for governor.

This number is comparable to the level of support the same voters gave Joe Biden two years ago (also 81 percent) and nearly matches the level of support Black voters delivered this cycle (87 percent).

Among self-identified LGBTQ+ voters who made up a midterm record seven percent of the 2022 electorate, fully 80 percent supported U.S. House Democrats. LGBTQ+ voters delivered similar margins for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates and Democratic candidates for governor.

Dobbs and Trump defined Republican extremism for many voters, but antiequality issues and attacks on margin alized people also defined right-wing

radicalism this year.

Among voters who voted against Republicans, a majority identify either abortion, support for Trump and election denial as the most important reason for doing so.

Attacks on people of color and LGBTQ people rank next on list

As predicted, right-wing efforts to spread propaganda about and attack transgender people failed.

In this survey, HRC asked voters which specific issues motivated them to vote this year. Inflation (52 percent) and abortion (29 percent) rank first and second on this list.

Less than five percent identify gender-affirming care for transgender

First out lesbian governor in US

Democrat Maura Healey of Massachusetts has become the first out lesbian Governor in the country, as well as the first elected woman gover nor of her state.

Healey, the country’s first lesbian state attorney general, won out over Trumpendorsed Republican Geoff Diehl.

“It is an uphill battle for LGBTQ candi dates and women candidates to win highlevel elected office, but Massachusetts voters know Maura is a fighter and today helped her make U.S. political history,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Maura is one of the most compassionate and cou rageous public servants in America, never backing down from a tough fight on behalf of the underdog. In the face of so much hate and intolerance sweeping our nation, her win is a sign – especially to LGBTQ kids in desperate need of hope – that LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public lead ers. We are confident that under Maura’s leadership, Massachusetts will reach new heights as one of the most inclusive states in the country.”

Healey, 51, was elected Attorney

youth or transgender participation in sports as issues motivating them to vote, last on this list.

While the attacks were ineffective with the general electorate and in fact repelled swing voters, they still caused harm, including increasing stigma, discrimination and violence against the transgender community.

Voters will tolerate no retreat on marriage.

With a pivotal U.S. Senate vote on mar riage equality underway, a convincing 61 percent of 2022 voters in this fairly conser vative, midterm electorate support Congress passing a law to protect the federal right to same-sex marriage. This majority includes 67 percent of Independent voters, 54 percent of voters over age 50, 62 percent of non-college women and a resounding 81 percent of equality-minded voters.

An earlier poll released in October by HRC revealed just how much voting power the LGBTQ community has in sheer numbers. In the 2022 Midterm election, LGBTQ+ identified people account for one in ten (11.3 percent) of people in the voting eligible population in the United States. Younger generations are much more likely to identify as LGBTQ, including 27 percent of Generation Z (born 19972003), 15.6 percent of Millennials (born 1981-1996), 7.6 percent of Generation X (born 1965-1980), 4.6 percent of Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 4.9 percent of Traditionalists (born 1934-1945). ::

elected Democrat Maura Healey is the next governor of Massachusetts

General in 2014. While in office, she took on Purdue Pharma over the opioid crisis and exposed Exxon’s climate crisis denial.

As Civil Rights Chief in the AG’s office, Healey brought the first successful chal lenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, help ing to lay the groundwork for marriage equality nationwide.

As AG, she championed non-discrim ination protections for trans people in Massachusetts and pushed for gender-neu tral markers both federally and for the state.

She also sued the Trump administration repeatedly – nearly 100 times over her ten

ure, starting with a multi-state lawsuit aimed at overturning the Muslim travel ban en acted just days into Trump’s term. According to the Boston Globe, she was successful in over three-quarters of the cases.

“I have a message for President Trump,” Healey said at the Boston Women’s March in 2017, soon after his inauguration, “We’ll see you in court.”

After she won the Democratic pri mary, she stood before a raucous crowd of supporters and told them, “I am so proud to be able to stand before you tonight as your Democratic nominee for

governor of Massachusetts.” She nod ded to the sound of her latest title and added, “That sounds good.”

The former professional basketball player and captain of her team at Harvard describes herself as a “baller” and was cleareyed about the work ahead in her remarks that night: “I ask you, as a former point guard, to leave it all with me on the court.”

Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison also celebrated.

“Tonight, Maura Healey made his tory, becoming the first out lesbian governor this nation has ever elected. Massachusetts embraced a platform of equality and inclusion by electing a pro-equality champion. With her in the statehouse, LGBTQ+ youth across Massachusetts and the United States will get to see that they are represented at the highest levels of government, and that they can achieve anything they set their minds on. We celebrate Maura Healey’s historic win and look forward to working with her to continue to fight for a Massachusetts that is inclusive and welcoming to all.”

This story appears courtesy of our media partner LGBTQ Nation. ::

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 5
Voters concerned with equality stopped the so-called ‘red wave.’ PHOTO CREDIT: Adobe Stock Maura Healey beat Trump-endorsed Republican Geoff Diehl.
PHOTO CREDIT: NBC/Screen Capture

North Carolina Wins Big in Global Metropolitan Community Church Awards

During a recent open period of consid eration, members of the global MCC com munity nominated individuals, ministries, and churches for the Global MCC awards. The Governing Board, Council of Elders, and MCC Staff were invited to vote on the nominees and choose the best of the best. Across the United States a total of eight awards were presented, making the U.S. the top contender, while North Carolina’s St. John’s MCC was recognized with three awards, making it the only state and church to win multiple awards. Here are the North Carolina Winners:

JoNee Shelton Lay Leadership Award Jay Allen Cannady-Kelderman St. John’s MCC, Raleigh

This award is given to a long serving Lay Delegate. Having been members at St.

John’s for 46 years, Jay has served in vari ous roles including being the Lay Delegate consecutively for the past 10 years. Jay continues to provide valuable leadership by keeping the congregation informed of MCC news. He demonstrates a deep love for MCC and his local congregation.

St. John’s MCC Audio Visual Team Raleigh, North Carolina

This award is given to a church technol ogy minister/ministry or a ministry group that demonstrates excellence in the use of technology to further the mission of the church or group. This year, recognition is given to three technology ministries/min isters for their development of hybrid wor ship and digital outreach, with Raleigh’s MCC at the top of the list.

Iconic Midnight Diner moved in middle of night

It feels appropriate somehow that the popular Midnight Diner, a 1950s-influ enced railroad car-style restaurant, got moved a mile down the road a little after midnight on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 2. The shiny stainless steel boxcar diner now rests at its new spot near Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte, after being transported from its longtime location at the intersection of Carson Boulevard and Tryon Street.

The move was needed because a massive planned $750 million redevelop ment with two high-rise buildings mixing commercial and residential spaces is aimed at the diner’s former longtime spot at the prominent corner located between uptown and South End. Midnight Diner closed Sept. 5 at 115 E. Carson St. in preparation for its one mile move to 420 E. Trade St., The Charlotte Observer previously reported. The 24/7 eatery has been serving home made comfort foods for 12 years.

The “heavy and long” diner, as mover Lynn McCrary called it, traveled in the dark of night from Carson St. to South Blvd., which turns into South Caldwell St. before

reaching East Trade St. McCrary, owner of McCrary House Movers of Lexington, told The Charlotte Observer that it took about 90 minutes to move the 89-foot long modular diner, starting at about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The largest obstacle on the route was a train, which ate up 30 minutes of time, McCrary said. But one piece of the building hasn’t made it to the uptown spot yet. The entrance will be moved after the diner is put on its foundation later in November. Then the entrance will be moved by crane, McCrary said.

“There’s no room there now,” he said.

The Move by the Numbers

Here’s what it took to move the Midnight Diner, according to McCrary:

• Five full-time employees to prep and move

• Two 95-foot beams

• 10 20-foot beams

• 32 tires under the diner for support

• One truck in front to haul the Midnight Diner

This award is named after a pioneering lay leader, who, among many roles and offices she held, was a founder and mover of the pension plan for clergy in the US. This award honors outstanding service to MCC as a Lay Leader. As a Lay Pastoral Leader, Haywood models invitation and engage ment from coordinating a delegation to Washington, D.C., for the Poor People’s Campaign March, to rallies and to provid ing leadership to a robust spiritual com munity.

The MCC Community of Brazil captured the second largest number of wins with six going to various individuals and ministries around the country. Additional winners from the MCC family in the United States and around the globe include representa tives from Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington; England, Germany and Uganda. For more details

on the MCC church, visit their website at https://visitmccchurch.com/ :: https://bit.ly/3OtbU3h —

Why Midnight Diner Moved

Brian Dominick owns both din ers. He also owns the strip club Uptown Cabaret near Midnight Diner’s former spot in South End. Midnight Diner’s move makes way for Chicago developer Riverside Investment and Development’s $750 million plan at the prominent intersection between uptown and South End.

Queensbridge Collective will include a 42-story office building and a 45-story apartment building, the Observer previously reported. It’s un clear what the plans are for Uptown Cabaret. Construction is expected to start at the end of the year.

About Midnight Diner’s New Location

Midnight Diner’s nearly one-acre site includes 25 free parking spaces during the day and 75 spaces after 5 p.m. The new site also has a concrete patio and black aluminum fencing, according to plans approved by the city. Some of Midnight Diner’s 100 full- and part-time employees have been working at Red Eye Diner, a sister restaurant less than a quarter mile away from the new site. Red Eye Diner resumed its third shift, which was cut dur ing the pandemic, at Queen City Quarter, formerly Epicentre.

Midnight Diner also has plans to open a second location next year at 6538 N. Tryon St., the site of the former Old Hickory Bar-B-Q at the Tom Hunter Station light rail stop, the Observer previ ously reported. TanDom Investments, registered to Dominick, purchased the one-acre property in October 2020 for $1 million, Mecklenburg County property records show.

This article has been edited for space limitations. It appears courtesy of our media partner The Charlotte Observer. :: https://bit.ly/3OtbU3h

6 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022 news
Kerry Brown Award for Distinguished Leadership Pastor Vance Haywood St. John’s MCC, Raleigh
Qnotes Staff
Qnotes Staff
The railroad car-style diner was relocated from East Carson Boulevard to 420 East Trade Street, near Spectrum Center. Photo Credit: Jeff Siner/jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Documentary on 1990 lesbian murder screened at UNCW

Brutal slaying of Talana Kreeger went largely unnoticed outside of Wilmington

The name Talana Kreeger, whose life was cut short over 30 years ago because of anti-LGBTQ violence, isn’t known by most outside of Wilmington, or by many individuals from the area younger than 50.

“I moved to Wilmington in 1990,” recalls Tab Ballis, the producer of the documentary “Park View.”

“That was the same year that Talana Kreeger was murdered. I learned of her death from media coverage that was sensational in its description of the horrific details of her murder, yet somehow it left her identity as a human being unreported.”

Ballis identifies as a cisgender het erosexual male, yet he still felt a strong connection to Kreeger and the part of the story that was being overlooked, in all likelihood, intentionally.

eats after the bar had closed. He offered Kreeger a ride and she accepted, but never made it to Hardee’s.

Following an argument concern ing her sexuality, Thomas sexually and physically assaulted Kreeger and left her to die in a wooded area. In 1992 he was convicted of her murder and continues to serve two life sentences.

Qnotes reported on a memorial ser vice for Kreeger that was held nearly 20 years later in a March 8, 2008, edition of the publication.

Ballis feels that her case was mis handled by authorities and the media because she was a lesbian. At the onset of his efforts with the project, he had initially hoped to collaborate with other filmmakers. As the years passed, however, individuals working in Wilmington’s small film production community who had con tributed to the project moved on to work with the industry in Los Angeles.

“So this is a project that’s been [many] years in the making,” he explains. “I eventually decided to do it myself.”

Ballis taught himself the technical aspects of editing and post production and eventually finished the project.

The film’s first screen ing was on Feb. 22, 2020, at Church of the Good Shepherd, which was the same church that hosted Kreeger’s funeral. Over the past two years it has shown at multiple festivals, most recently at UNCW in Wilmington.

A year of returns and firsts for Charlotte Pride

December is upon us! How in the world did this year go by so fast? As the year comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on what shaped up to be a great year for Charlotte Pride. Over our last remaining columns in this calendar year, we’ll reflect together on a year full of returns, firsts and transitions.


As early as October 2021, we had been closely monitoring the rollout of vaccines and the progress made in tamping down the continued pandemic. Despite really needing to get started on planning then, we waited — certain in our volunteers’ ability to plan our year’s events, even if on a shorter timeline.

By the middle of January, Charlotte Pride’s board made the decision to green light the return of all our in-person programs and events, including our two largest: August’s festival and parade and “Reel Out

America Stadium for Tepper employees.

Later that month, we partnered for the first time in hosting a community-wide local candidate fair. It marked the first time mul tiple candidates from multiple political parties joined together in a nonpartisan, community and voter education effort.

And it was also in March that we held our very first in-person volunteer leadership team meeting of the year.

Speaking of firsts and volunteers — a special shoutout is deserved for all of Charlotte Pride’s festival and parade team leaders this year. For the first time (in recent memory at least), the majority of festival and parade team leaders were practically brand new! Many had soldiered on alongside us during virtual and limited, small-scale events in 2020 and 2021, but most had never vol unteered at our normal, large-scale and inperson festival and parade. Every single one of our awesome volunteers (find their names

“I sensed that the life of Talana Kreeger was at risk of being obscured by the hor ror of her death and its sensationalized coverage,” says Ballis. “I felt compelled to make sure that she was not forgotten.”

The film explores who Kreeger was and examines her horrifically violent murder on Feb. 22, 1990.

“It struck me at the time there was very little information about Talana Kreeger and who she was,” Ballas recalls. “There were practically no photos of her.”

The filmmaker found the title for his documentary in the name of the bar Kreeger was working at on the night of her death: The Park View Grill, a now defunct but previously popular lesbian bar prominently located in a high profile area of Wilmington.

It was there she met Ronald Thomas, who asked to tag along with Kreeger and other women from the bar who were headed to Hardee’s for late night

Ballis believes the story of a 32-year-old murder is still very relevant today. “Much has been accom plished by the LGBTQ community, especially with the overturn ing of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Marriage Equality,” he offers. “But the danger and violence are still there. LGBTQ people have been targeted by violence at a rate that can only be called epidemic. Hate crimes have actually increased since the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.

“Violence aimed at gay men and trans people of color has become all too com mon in recent years, [but] hate crimes against lesbians are actually not well docu mented. Not because they are infrequent, but [because] law enforcement agencies have historically failed to inquire about the sexual orientation of female victims.”

More screenings of the documentary at universities and schools throughout North Carolina are planned for December and ear ly next year. Specific dates will be reported as they become available. For additional information, visit the “Park View” website. ::

Charlotte,” the Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival.

Staff, board and volunteers hit the ground running as fast as we could. We put out calls for volunteer leaders, ramped up planning for the film festival to be held in just a mere few weeks and began plotting out all the details for what everyone expected would be a supersized festival and parade — the first held in person in three years.

The return of this year’s Reel Out Charlotte was a resounding success, with an at-capacity opening night reception and short films screening. The event screened 10 fea ture films with several state and southeast ern premieres including “Sweetheart” and “Wildhood,” as well as an engaging panel discussion digging deep into the issues of institutional racism depicted in our closing film, “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson.”


March seemed to mark a number of meaningful firsts in the life of Charlotte Pride. In addition to participating in the return of the Charlotte Hornets Pride Night, we began a growing relationship with Tepper Sports and Entertainment — home to the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC. Charlotte Pride was honored to host our first large scale lunch-and-learn workshop at Bank of

listed on page 2 of this magazine) rose to the occasion in phenomenally fabulous style and grace! Thanks y’all! You’re the best!

During the summer, as we inched closer and closer to the festival and parade, Charlotte Pride would experience two other amazing firsts.

In June, we partnered for the first time with Charlotte FC, which produced their first Pride Night at Bank of America Stadium. It was a great night of soccer and community empowerment. The Carolina Panthers’ Justine Lindsay, the first openly trans cheerleader in the NFL, was hon ored. Time Out Youth was given a spot light. And our very own Daniel Valdez, our immediate past board president and soccer fan extraordinaire, was honored with the pregame coronation.

In August, one week prior to the big event, Charlotte Pride was honored to mark the in-person return of the annual Charlotte Pride Interfaith Service — hosted for the very first time at a historic and predomi nately Black faith congregation. St. Luke’s Missionary Baptist and its staff, including Senior Pastor Clifford Matthews, Jr., wel comed the event with open arms.

Next time: Check back with our last col umn of the calendar year next month as we continue to reflect on an awesome 2022. ::

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 7
Charlotte Pride’s first 2022 volunteer team leader meeting in March One of only a few images known to exist of Talana Kreeger. If she had survived, she would now be 65.
PHOTO CREDIT: Screen Capture

Fighting for the rights of the people Legal Eagles

Right before the election I saw a draw ing with a child talking to their parent.

The child says, “But what if they lose?” The parent says, “Then we keep fight ing for the rights of all people.” The child replies, “And, if they win?” and the parent says, “Oh dear child, it’s the same answer.”

That’s exactly right. There were a lot of wins for LGBTQ+ people this election cycle: For the first time, lesbians were elected as governors in two states, the first trans man was elected in New Hampshire, the first trans woman was elected in Monana, the first LGBTQ person of color was elected to Congress from Vermont and a record number of LGBTQ people and allies were elected to other offices across the nation.

There were also a lot of losses. Nationally, it wasn’t the Red Wave that was predicted (thank goodness), but for queer people, trans folks, gender diverse kids, women, Brown and Black people, religious minorities, people living in poverty and others, the outcome is still frightening. Too many voted to elect people who support actions and policies that will harm us.

So, what do we do? We keep “fighting for the rights of all people.”

You may be wondering why I am writing about the election in a legal column. It’s because our nation is built on laws. Elected representatives make laws (legislative branch), interpret laws (judicial branch) and enforce laws (executive branch).

Laws reflect what we tell our elected representatives is acceptable and not acceptable. Laws are also a reflection of what elected representatives think we want; and sometimes, they are what elected representatives think will keep them being re-elected and in power.

I’ve written before about how when one branch of government is taken over by anti-LGBTQ+ people, we move our rights forward in another branch. If the legisla ture is against us, we take our fights to the courts. If the state courts are against us, we go to federal courts. We work at every level, and we never stop fighting. We play the hand we’ve been dealt.

I want to write about another tool in our toolbelt that each and every one of us can do, and it will make a big difference. We hold elected officials ACCOUNTABLE at every single level of government. We tell them how their laws and policies affect us and our families. Too often, we forget the amount of power we have in our voices –not anymore.

Did they campaign on putting criminals in jail? Then do it. Put people who target LGBTQ children in jail. Prosecute those who seek to harm teachers for supporting gender diverse kids, shopkeepers for host ing drag brunches, and librarians for having drag queen story hour. Prosecute those whose actions are based on hate. We have to hold them accountable to protect us.

For those who campaigned on protect ing families, we have to hold them account able to protect our families and our kids.

For those who campaigned on uphold ing the laws and Constitution, we have to hold them accountable to uphold the laws for us, our rights and our legal protections.

For those who campaigned on religious freedom, we have to hold them account able to protect all religious beliefs.

I could go on and on. You get the idea. We have to hold them accountable.

So, how do we do this? We attend their meetings. We sit in the courtrooms. We watch their legislative sessions. We speak at their town halls. We call and text their offices. We write letters. We meet with them. We speak out, loudly and frequently. Our voices matter.

Most elected representatives want to keep being elected. For those who simply follow the votes, meaning they do what ever they think the people who are going to re-elect them want, we have to tell them what we want. When enough of us do that, they’ll follow us instead of the other guy. It shouldn’t be that way but it is. They love the power and just want to keep it. They don’t care how.

Holding elected representatives ac countable also means telling our stories. Too many laws are passed by elected representatives who have no idea how they actually impact people’s lives. I remember a story from when HB2 passed a few years ago that someone who voted for it thought people who are transgender could correct the sex marker on their birth certificates really easily and so it wouldn’t be an issue. False! (Although this past summer it became less onerous for some one born in North Carolina).

So, let’s hold the U.S. Senate account able to pass the Respect for Marriage Act. Marriage equality is the law of the land under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. This decision said it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to same sex couples. Newly elected senator Ted Budd in talking about his position on the “sanctity of life” on his website states he believes “we all have an unalienable constitutional right to life and protec

tion under the law.” Alright. Let’s go with the unalienable constitutional right to protection under the law and apply that to the law (marriage equality) and vote for the Respect for Marriage Act. Once he’s sworn in, email or call him and tell him to support the law. Tell him how having the right to marry affects you and how losing it would impact you.

While you are at it, contact your Senator and tell them to vote for the Equality Act, too. Senators contact infor mation can be found here: https://www. senate.gov/senators/index.htm

You can watch Senate proceedings live at https://www.senate.gov/floor/

Information for U.S. House members can be found at https://www.house.gov/ representatives, and proceedings can be watched live at https://live.house.gov/.

Senators and House members have local offices if you want to meet with them in person.

On the state level, information on the North Carolina General Assembly –House and Senate – is available at https:// www.ncleg.gov/. There is information for contacting elected representatives, read ing proposed laws and watching their proceedings in real time.

It is critical that we pay attention and speak out to the state General Assembly members. For example, Senate leader Phil Berger has already said as soon as he has the votes to override the governor’s veto, he is going to work to pass a “parents’ bill of rights” that, according to the press release, will “enumerate the rights of par ents to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare and mental health of their chil dren.” This legislation was proposed a few months ago, and it is absolutely frighten ing. There is no doubt it will harm LGBTQ+ children, families and educators. We have to hold Sen. Berger accountable that this proposed legislation either never becomes law or includes all parents – all parents of LGBTQ children, all parents who want their children to know we live in a diverse world, all parents who want their children

to understand and embrace individuality and to know that different is just different, not good or bad, just different.

In addition to Berger, contact your state Senator and tell them how this would affect your children, your family, your school. Do the same on the House side of the General Assembly.

Equality NC (EqualityNC.org) does a great job of following what is happening at the state General Assembly. Support its work and get involved.

At the city and county level, let’s start with Charlotte City Council. The public meetings are the second and fourth Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the CharlotteMecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth Street in Charlotte. The meetings are also televised if you can’t attend in person. You can speak at City Council meet ings at the Public Forum the fourth Monday of each month. You can speak at anything you want at the Public Forum. At the other City Council meetings, you can sign up to speak on specific agenda items as well. Information, including who the City Council members are and how to contact them and the Mayor, is at CharlotteNC.gov. You can also sign up to speak at the Public Forum through that website.

For Mecklenburg County Commission, information is at MeckNC.gov. They meet the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth Street. They have a time for people to speak on anything they want at each meeting. Go to the website to sign up to speak at a meeting.

The Board of Education meets the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth Street in Charlotte. You can speak during the public com ments part at the meeting on the second Tuesday. Sign up at boardservices@cms. k12.nc.us by noon of the day of the meet ing. More information is at CMSk12.org

In other cities and counties, check your local government websites for information on contacting elected representatives and meeting schedules.

Information on North Carolina courts and judges is at NCCourts.gov. Court hear ings are open to the public except for juvenile cases. You can also attend cases argued at the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in Raleigh. The calendar for oral arguments is on the website.

By the way, if you like the drama of any of the various “reality” TV shows, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve started paying attention to elected representa tives. They may not flip tables (publicly), but I can assure you, there is Drama with a capital D. Snide comments √. Alliances √. Backstabbing √. Revenge √.

We have to use everything we have to protect the rights we have and to fight for the rights we deserve. We are power ful. Our voices matter. We have to hold elected representatives accountable. Tell them how their votes affect your life. That’s something each of us can do, and it will make a big difference. ::

8 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022
North Carolina Legislative Building at sunset. PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash

The Family Outing: A Memoir

Out in print

Don’t tell the children.

For most families in America in the last century, that was the maxim to live by: The kids are on a need-to-know basis, and since they’re kids they don’t need to know. And so what did you miss? Did you know about familial philanthropy, rebellion, embarrassment, poverty? As in the new memoir, “The Family Outing” by Jessi Hempel, did secrets between parent and child run both ways?

“What happened to me?”

That’s the big question Jessi Hampel had after many therapy sessions to rid herself of a recurring nightmare. She had plenty of good memories. Her recollection of growing up in a secure family with two siblings was sharp, wasn’t it?

She thought so – until she started what she called “The Project.”

With permission from her parents and siblings, Hempel set up Skype and Zoom

her parents divorced, why her brother kept mostly to himself, how the family dynamics went awry, why her sister kept her distance and how secrets messed everything up.

Hempel’s father had an inkling as a

the woman who would eventually be his wife, he was delighted to become a husband and father, as long as he could sustain it.

Years before, Hempel’s mother was your typical 1960s teenager with a job at a local store, a crush on a slightly-older co-worker and, coincidentally, a serial killer loose near her Michigan neighborhood. Just after the killer was caught, she realized that the coworker she’d innocently flirted with might’ve been the killer’s accomplice.

For nearly the rest of her life, she watched her back.

One secret, one we-don’t-discuss-it, and a young-adult Hempel was holding some thing close herself. What else didn’t she know? Why did she and her siblings feel the need for distance? She was trying to figure things out when the family imploded...

Ever had a dream that won’t stop visit ing every night? That’s where author Jessi Hempel starts this memoir, and it’s the per fect launching point for “The Family Outing.”

Just prepare yourself. The next step has Hempel telling her mother’s tale for which, at the risk of being a spoiler, you’ll want to leave the lights on. This account will leave readers good and well hooked, and ready for the rest of what turns out to be quite a detective story.

And yet, it’s a ways away from the

but the entwining of five separate lives in a fact-finding mission makes this book feel as though it has a surprise at every turn.

Sometimes it’s a good surprise. Sometimes it’s a bad one.

A happily minimized amount of profan ity and a total lack of overtness make “The Family Outing” a book you can share with almost anyone, adult or ally. Read it, and you’ll be wanting to tell everyone. ::

Thanks to everyone who voted for Aldersgate for the Best of Charlotte awards. This is the fifth year in a row that Aldersgate, a non-profit Life Plan Community, located in East Charlotte, has taken home top awards in several categories.

While we take pride in our achievement as a community partner and these awards, our residents and community are the real winners. We work hard every day to make their lives better.

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 9
c.2022, HarperOne $27.99 320 pages
a&e 3800 Shamrock Drive •
28215 Al der sga te Wins Best of Char lo tt e in Fi ve Cat egori es : Of all the colors of the seasons, are our favorites. Go l d, Silver & Bronze. Life Plan Community
PHOTO CREDIT: Christine Han Photography
Charlotte, NC
• BEST PLACE TO WORK • BEST ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY • BEST INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY • BEST SKILLED NURSING FACILITY • BEST HOME CARE SERVICES If y ou’re in tereste d in l ea rn ing m ore ab out ou r c o mmu ni ty, se rv ice s or empl oyment oppo rtu n it i es, pl ea se v is it Aldersg ateChar lotte. org o r c all (704 ) 318-2018. Contact Assisted Living or Memory Care at (704) 774-4171 • Short-Term Rehabilitation or Skilled Nursing at (704) 774-4099.
Located on hundreds of acres, Aldersgate is a 62+, entrance-fee, non-profit community that offers a variety of living options and amenities, including six dining venues, an indoor pool, salon and spa, wood shop, dog park, gardening, wooded trails and a picturesque lake. Plus, we offer a top-rated, full continuum of care.

The Colonoscopy chronicle

Health & wellness

It is 3:54 p.m. on a Tuesday, the day before the exam.

It’s a good thing I checked my calendar a second time yesterday. The appointment I have with the gastroenterologist isn’t until 6:30 a.m. tomorrow; I’d originally thought it was today. So, I slept in – it’s going to be a late night tonight and an early start tomorrow.

I’m not worried about having my first colonoscopy since I have seen all of this before as a spectator. I accompanied my friend Eddie earlier this year when he had his first one done. Since he was sedated, he didn’t feel a thing. The nurse in the waiting room was a prude; she didn’t appreciate my ribald sense of humor.

What I imagine will be the most annoy ing part has already begun. The two slices of cheese toast I had for breakfast, along with the accompanying coffee and Nesquik, are to be my last non-clear food until tomorrow. I ate a handful of cheese puffs a couple of hours ago anyway. My logic was this: Even though they’re not technically transparent, these are mostly air and ought to be considered clear. Now I’m beginning to get the munchies so the next 14-and-ahalf hours are going to be interesting.

4:30 p.m.

Did you know that colon cancer is the second leading cause of death (after lung

cancer) from cancers affecting both men and women? According to the folks at UNC Health Talk, colonoscopies are now recom mended for anybody over the age of 45 (formerly 50) and for folks over 40 who also have a family history of colon cancer.

Sometimes the procedure is also ordered for patients who are experiencing weakness or fatigue or who have levels of anemia (like me) that can’t be attributed to other causes.

This relatively simple and routine procedure is done to prevent colon cancer. Death from colon cancer is almost com pletely avoidable if the cancer is caught in

the early stages. Taking a peek inside at your colon is the easiest way to do that. Looking around is done by a trained doctor who sticks a flexible tube tipped with a high-definition camera up and inside, using the same opening through which things usually exit.

5:15 p.m.

I thought it might be fun to Google “recipes for the day before a colonoscopy.” Well, “fun” isn’t exactly how I’d describe the results. Cheese puffs, as fate would have it, are out as “clear foods.” Bastards. I have broth, Jell-o, and popsicles to look forward to, and then only flavors that don’t include

red, orange, blue and/or purple dyes. Oh, joy. But there is some disagreement about the need for a totally clear liquid diet be fore a colonoscopy.

6:00 p.m. (on the dot) Tuesday

Time to consume the first of the splitdose cleaning-out procedures. This method of preparing for a colonoscopy is supposed to be superior to the old version – there’s less laxative fluid to drink, and allegedly it tastes better. At least that’s what I’ve read. So here we go…

I mix one bottle of prep solution with enough tap water to make 16 oz. of water (about 475 mL) and chug it. Bleh. It tastes salty and vaguely grape-flavored. Not good, but not the worst tasting thing in the world. Now I have to drink two additional 16 oz. cups of water within the next hour, so I set reminder-alarms at 15-minute intervals to pace myself.

I’m not naturally a drinker – of anything. Outside of my daily dose of Nesquik, I usually only have iced tea or an occasional soda with meals. I wouldn’t be surprised if I walk around constantly dehydrated. Downing this much liquid is a chore, but not impossible.

6:25 p.m. Tuesday No effect so far.


J. Wesley Thompson MHS, PA-C, AAHIVS, DFAAPA

HIV Medical Director and co-founder

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Richard T. Wynn, MD

Primary Care Director and co-founder

Mandy Irvin, PharmD, CPP, AAHIVP

Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner

Jason L. Hardin, MSN, AGNP-C, AAHIVS

Jerry A. Saunders, MD PhD

Heather Manos, MD

Shane Bentley, PharmD, CPP Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner

Bill Kreft, PA-C

Hana Kim, PA-C

PrEP • PEP • LGBTrans Care • HIV Care

Primary Care • Diabetes Care

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Amity Medical Group, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that proudly serves the Charlotte community in providing medical care and linkage to community services to serve your daily needs.


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Phone: 704-208-4134 Fax: 704-248-8068

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Phone: 704-208-4134 Fax: 704-248-7845

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Phone: 704-874-0200 Fax: 704-874-0201

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022

qnotes 11
life See Colonoscopy on page 13
Oh joy! The two-part prep kit I picked up at the pharmacy. PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Griggs
12 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022

7:02 p.m. Tuesday

Starting to feel a bit gassy. I hear some gurgling in my tummy. Could explosions be very far away?

7:25 p.m. Tuesday

Okay. It’s definitely time to run to the loo!

7:38 p.m.

Whew! That was an adventure. The first wave of material (and perhaps a demon or two) has now left my system.

7:48 p.m.

More gurgling and gas. At least I hope that’s gas. Methinks more demons are on the way out soon.

Time for jokes:

Q: What’s brown and sits on the piano bench?

A: Beethoven’s last movement.

Q: Did you hear about the constipated math teacher?

A: She worked it out with a pencil.

Q: What did one fly say to another?

A: “Pardon me, is this stool taken?”

8:27 p.m.

Having returned from my second seating upon the porcelain throne, I can announce the exorcism of several more spirits. Well, I assume they were spirits... as they were mostly liquid.

9:39 p.m.

All’s quiet at the southern gate. Since I have to repeat the process at 3 a.m., it’s time to turn in and get a little shut-eye.

12:12 a.m. Wednesday

So much for that bit of wishful thinking. Amid a rather interesting dream, I was awak ened by Casper the not-so-friendly ghost attempting a fast exit through my gift shop. Fortunately, I showed him the door, and he left without further incident.

3:00 a.m.

Round two begins.

For whatever reason, the second 16 oz. tumbler of laxative (a combination of sodium, potassium and magnesium salts) is a bit more difficult to chug than the earlier one. I grab a straw to assist.

Ugh. The artificial saltiness has not im proved in the dead of night.

I set my alarms to help me down another two 16 oz. tumblers of tap water as a chaser and prepare for the upcoming eruption of my anal geyser.

3:56 a.m.

I feel the gaseous bloat return and hear gurgling once again.

4:11 a.m.

Woosh! Here we go again...

4:41 a.m.

I finish drinking the last of the water for a total of 96 ounces (2.84 L), or 3/4 of a gallon!

5:05 a.m.

A few remaining demons exit through the gift shop, leaving me just enough time to grab a quick shower. I consider corking up the chute in case of any lingering fluids. Guess I’ll chance it.

5:40 am

I grab my computer bag and dash out the door. Since my colonoscopy (like many others) is a procedure which requires seda tion, I meet up with my friend Eddie who has agreed to drive me to the doctor’s office. For safety’s sake, I won’t be able to work or drive for several hours after the procedure so we park my car and take my friend’s.

6:30 a.m. (on the dot)

We pull into the parking lot at Northeast Digestive Health Center, right on time for my appointment.

6:44 a.m.

Here I am with Leigh Ann, the delight ful nurse’s assistant who checked my blood pressure and other vitals, attached a heartrate monitor, then gave me a fetching green hospital gown to wear for easy access to my used-food chute. I placed my clothes in the plastic “Patient Belongings” bag provided and

kick back on the gurney to await my turn.

7:15 a.m.

Another pleasant nurse came and insert ed an intravenous (IV) line for administering the anesthesia. Propofol, the same drug that, when misused, ended Michael Jackson’s life, is the drug of choice in these procedures.

Fun fact: Propofol is sometimes referred to as “milk of amnesia” for its milky color and memory-erasing effects. When used as intended, the drug is both safe and very ef fective. It is found on WHO’s list of essential medicines and patients should not fear its use by a professional anesthesiologist.

Then my friend, Eddie, comes into the waiting area to keep me company while I wait. (I accompanied him to his own colonoscopy earlier this year.) You can see below how excited he is to return the favor.

8:00 a.m.

I am wheeled into the exam room.

The very pleasant anesthesiologist asks me my name, date of birth and reason for being there.

My gastroenterologist, Dr. Sara Hawkes, greets me and asks me the same questions I just answered.

As I feel something cold flow through the IV tube and into my arm, I attempt a joke about needing a Cesarean section, and I’m out like a light.

8:30 a.m.

I awaken to the voice of another nurse who has come to check on me and to re move the heart-rate monitor sticky pads.

Note to others: Manscape strategically before your colonoscopy noting the future placement of the heart monitoring pads. (Unless you love the brisk pull of adhesive tape yanking the hair from your body.)

There is no butt pain, just a good amount of air-pressure that has built up inside me.

And then, suddenly: a mighty wind!

The nurse suggests a more efficient far ting posture: face down, ass up, my knees drawn up to my chest. The typhoon winds blow furiously as the pressure subsides. I have produced some rather impressive tuba sounds.

The results of the test? All is well. Except for a small shallow sore spot, likely from an Ibuprofen. I am told this is nothing to worry about. Whew! That’s over.

All in all?

Not nearly as troublesome or inconve nient as I had imagined. Absolutely no pain (save a single stick of the IV needle and the hair-yanking I mentioned earlier) and no memory of the procedure itself.

Now I’m all good and not due to have a colonoscopy for another ten years.

8:50 a.m.

The best part of this entire saga: breakfast!

Coffee and delicious eggs benedict served with home fries, peppers, onions and cheese.

I hope the telling of my little saga is useful, educational and perhaps a bit enter taining. Colonoscopies are a good thing and not so tough after all, in the end! ::

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 13
We care about you and your family. The new COVID-19 booster is free and now available at Mecklenburg County Public Health locations and at most pharmacies in our community. Make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations and take a COVID test before gathering. If you test positive, stay home and get treatment. Visit our website or call our hotline for more information and to find vaccination locations near you. Covid doesn’t care, but we do.
Author Eric Griggs poses with Nurse’s Assistant Leigh Ann for a selfie.
Colonoscopy from page 11
PHOTO CREDIT: © 2019, the author

life, positively

The evolution of HIV has brought on change in health care as well as the organizations that provide that care. New treatments have made life, positively an even larger reality today. There is still stigma and discrimination, however, now more than ever before there is health, happiness and longevity with in the HIV community.

Thank you to these sponsors for this special coverage



Dudley’s Place is the non profit partner to Rosedale Health and Wellness. In 2019 we launched Dudley’s Place with the first of our now ever-growing list of services. From day one our focus groups and Consumer Advisory Board have allowed the clients to be in the forefront of planning and executing how we serve this community.

Today Dudley’s Place thrives with full time patient advocates, insurance assistance, housing assistance, nutritional therapy and emergency food vouchers, a community garden, a full-time metal health counselor, support groups, a buddy program, outreach and testing, a PReP program, Ryan White and ADAP enroll ment, and so much more.

The goal of everything we do at Dudley’s Place is to “reduce barriers to care”. Anything that does or could stand in the way of you maintaining your doctor appointments and taking your medication


Established in 2006 by Dr. Frederick A. Cruickshank, Rosedale Health and Wellness is proud to serve the HIV and LGBTQ commu nity. Offering a variety of services ranging from HIV specialist care, to PReP treatments, free and confi dential testing, as well as general medicine for the community. Since the inception we have served over 5,500 patients in our area. Rosedale has built not just a “brand” orbecome a “destination for healthcare”; we have built a family. Our partnerships with other community resources, pharmaceutical companies, and YOU the patient are all in place to strengthen the outcomes that we are achieving in your healthcare.

At Rosedale Health & Wellness, we specialize in providing the best and most comprehensive treatment and therapy for HIV/AIDS. We run clinical trials that are reliable using the latest, cutting-edge technology,protocols, and the most ef

we are here to irradicate. Dudley’s Place shares and serves over 800 clients that seek medical services at Rosedale Health and Wellness. We are a proud partner to many other community organizations, because without collaboration we would make our own jobs that much harder.

People often ask, “Why Dudley’s Place” or “what is the dog for?”. So, here is the story. When Executive Director Dale Pierce was working to set up and launch the organization he told Dr. Cruickshank, “The name should mean something to you.” Cruickshank, the founder, and President

came back a few days later with the idea Dudley’s Place. You see, in 2006 when Dr. Cruickshank came to NC originally, he came single and knowing no one. His dachshund Dudley was his best friend. Anyone that worked at the clinic those years knew how special their bond was. So, Dr. C said the reason he wanted to call it Dudley’s Place was that “Dudley was my best friend when I was all alone, and I want us to be that best friend to our client.”

Our Mission and Vison pretty much sum it all up. The mission of Dudley’s Place is to positively impact the quality of life for

individuals living with or at risk for HIV through prevention, education, clientcentered services, and coordinated care in collabora tion with com munity partners. All clients enjoy health and wellbe ing by eliminating stigma and barri ers to care to create a future free of HIV.

We also hold five values close to us. Values that help us support the organiza tion to support you. Respect is honor ing the person: mind, body, and spirit. Empowerment is lifting up and promoting self- worth. Collaboration is working to gether on your health journey. Diversity is welcoming everyone who seeks commu nity. Advocacy is ensuring that supporting you is our priority.

Call us today at 704-977-7972 to learn more or visit us at www.dudleysplace.org

clientele, and we are increasing the num bers of individuals in the transgender community that are trusting us with their care as well.

fective HIV/AIDS treatment and therapy medicines. From national to internation aldrug trials and programs, we want to make sure we contribute to our clients treatment and therapy needs.We have specialty and primary care physicians who are well-trained, highly skilled medical professionals withmany years of experi ence in treating patients with HIV. Since our goal is centered on the wellness of ourclients, rest assured, we provide the most relevant treatment for every case under our care.

We realize that healthcare is a very

personal choice, and we are apprecia tive of you choosing us and wewill strive to give you 5-star service and never let you down when it comes to meeting your medialneeds. Rosedale has full time patient advocates, on site laboratory services, national drug study programs, and a Walgreens Specialty pharmacy on site. The knowledge of the staff and their years of experience, along with their com passion and empathy, all come together to make your journey the best it can be. Our staff is reaching out to increase and provide more access to bi lingual

Whether you need a new patient or sick visit, we can get you in and see ing the providers in record time. We accept all major insur ances; including Medicare and Medicaid; as well as having many self-pay and grant funded options for your needs as well. In 16 years, NO ONE has ever been turned away for an inability to pay.

If you need that round the year place that offers the best care around, look no further. As much as we celebrate World AIDS Day every year, we have a saying at Rosedale that says “every day is World AIDS Day’; because your health and hu manity matter.::

14 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022

life, positively


Affinity Health Center is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center; our main site is in Rock Hill, SC with additional sites in Clover and York. Our staff of almost 90 employees is growing to serve the needs of our community with compassion, dignity, and respect. Our team of providers includes an Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease Physician, Family Practice Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Dentists, and Mental Health Counselors. We also have an on-site pharmacy, clinical sup port staff, case managers and community health educators to provide comprehensive health services for all ages. We recently initiated comprehensive diabetes and hypertension programs and opened our first school-based location in York Middle School. Affinity offers primary care services that include hormone replacement therapy, PrEP and STD treatment, available regard


Amity Medical Group is a 501(c)3 non-profit independent family medicine practice that proudly serves Charlotte and the surrounding communities in 4 convenient locations. It is our mission to provide patient-centered teambased care with excellence in quality, services, and access to all despite any barriers, stigma, socioeconomic or health disparity.

We specialize in adult & pediatric primary


Quality Home Care Services, DBA Quality Comprehensive Health Center, (QCHC) is a multi-faceted, one-stop shop organization, with two locations, one in Concord, NC and has been anchored in the West End, Charlotte, NC, community for over 17 years.

At Quality, we provide a variety ser vices to our patients within the West End community and the surrounding area. Our goal is to remove barriers to care for individuals and families, and provide the highest standard of primary and specialty healthcare to all our patients. We do this by providing a “one stop


RAIN empowers persons living with HIV and those at risk to be healthy and stigma free.

RAIN is one of the largest HIV non profits in the Carolinas providing direct client services. The agency widely recognized for its expertise in working with people living with HIV and those at risk for expo sure. It integrates the wisdom and voices of those living with HIV in the planning and delivery of ser vices. As a result of its work, RAIN inspires and empowers people to live, opens minds, and helps break stigma of HIV.

less of insurance status, with a sliding fee scale based on income. Clinical and men tal health services are available through telehealth.

Our beginnings as Catawba Care, an AIDS Service Organization, still show strong in our focus on HIV specialty care and case management services. We investin prevention of HIV, Hepatitis C and STDs by providing in-house care and treatment plus one-on-one education and group presentations throughout our service area. We also provide free confidential walk-in HIV, Hepatitis C, and STD testing, PEP and PrEP navigation every Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am-6:00 pm, Friday 8:30 am-4:00 pm.

We will be partnering with Winthrop University Health Services on WORLD AIDS DAY to provide HIV testing and education for students on December 1st. Stop by our Rock Hill location throughout the week to hang a red ribbon in remembrance of

those lost to HIV and enjoy hot chocolate and HIV trivia. Check out our HIV trivia posts all week and share or comment to spread the word and reduce stigma. Find us at @affinityhealthcenter on Facebook and Instagram.

We offer on-site labs, on-site radiology, and on-site pharmacy.

Free Walk-in HIV/STD testing M-Th 8:30-6, F 8:30-4

Free HIV Self-Tests (York, Chester, and Lancaster County Residents)

and chronic care, including the best re gional HIV specialists, transgender care, ac cess to PrEP, diabetes specialists, addiction medicine, and preventative care services.

shop” style of service delivery for the community.

Our community is diverse in its healthcare needs, we find that providing such a wide array of services makes it much easier on our patients, whether they come in for primary care needs, mental health services, case manage ment or personal care service. While most of our work is located at our four office sites, our team also helps seniors with in-home needs, such as personal dressing and grooming.

Amity Medical Group is trusted by patients, a valued community partner, and a creator of positive change for all people. We provide a caring and welcoming environment to enhance quality of life by bridging the gaps in patient care through connections, innovative services, and patient empowerment so that our patients may achieve their full potential of health and well-being.

Free Condoms

Gay Friendly Primary Care Gender Affirming Care HIV Specialty Care Case Management & Support Hep C Treatment

RAIN educates and advocates for all people living with HIV and to work for a greater understanding of how it affects everyone regardless of race, gender, immigration status, and sexual

orientation. The organizations services enable individuals to live to their fullest potential and include:

• Medical Case Management

• Empowering Positive Youth

• Early Intervention Services

• Counseling Services

• Health Insurance Enrollment As sistance

• PrEP/PEP Program

• HIV/STI Testing

• The Havens

• Mobile Testing Unit

• The Drop

• Support Groups

• EASE (Enhancing wellness through Affirming Services and Education)

• Awareness and Prevention Education

RAIN envisions ending HIV in our commu nity. Learn more at carolinarain.org.

9, 2022 qnotes 15
Nov. 25-Dec.
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HILL, SC 29730
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life, positively Trump wouldn’t, Biden did

Biden named Harold Phillips director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, a position Trump left vacant

Less than five months after taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden released a statement marking the anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, recognizing when the first AIDS cases were docu mented on June 5, 1981. In his statement, he recognized the “the tireless dedication of activists, scientific researchers, and medical professionals” who faced “years of neglect, discrimination, fear-mongering, and limited action by government officials and the public.”

In light of that, Biden’s administration also announced their appointment of a new director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Dr. Harold Phillips.

HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

“Despite the progress we’ve made, our work is not yet finished. In honor of all those we have lost and all those living with the vi rus – and the selfless caregivers, advocates, and loved ones who have helped carry the burden of this crisis – we must rededicate ourselves to reducing HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths,” Biden said.

“We must continue empowering re searchers, scientists, and health care provid ers to ensure equitable access to prevention, care, and treatment in every community –particularly for communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community,” he added.

To lead those efforts, President Biden named Harold Phillips as director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, the first appointment to the office since the Obama administration.

When Trump took over in 2017, his ad ministration did not continue the office nor did he consult with the staff, something that every other administration continued since the creation of the office by President Bill Clinton (D). The National AIDS policy website was taken down and given no direction once the last director, Dr. Amy Lansky, left office right before Trump’s inauguration.

Just over years ago, doctors noted that five gay men in California – described as “ac tive homosexuals” – had displayed similar, severe symptoms of what appeared to be unusual infections. Although the disease could have been widespread before then, within a year of the discovery, medical pro fessionals would declare an epidemic and name the disease AIDS.

Today, while significant advances have been made in the fight against AIDS and HIV, the epidemic remains.

Biden’s statement acknowledged the sacrifice, struggle, and marginalization that people faced in the fight to combat HIV.

“Five young men in Los Angeles were confirmed as the first known patients stricken with an illness that the world would later come to know as AIDS,” Biden stated.

“In the decades since, more than 700,000 Americans and 32.7 million people worldwide have been lost to AIDS-related illnesses – a heartbreaking human toll that has disproportionately devastated LGBTQ+ communities, communities of color, and un derserved and marginalized people around the world,” he said.

Yet, after everything, “America has grown to become a leading force in the fight to end the HIV crisis,” he added.

Biden touted his vision for approaching the epidemic with more rigor and resources than his predecessors, in hopes of remarkably curb ing the spread of HIV and deaths from AIDS through an emergency plan for AIDS relief.

“Investing in Public Health” is a key component of Biden’s budget proposal, and the Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to Congress outlining the eventual proposal, which reaffirms that the White House “commits to ending the

That wasn’t the Trump administration’s only abandonment of the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Many of the 16 mem bers on the separate Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS had resigned, and Trump then fired the rest with no reason or replacement. His administration would not replace them until 2019.

Phillips previously worked as the Senior Advisor in the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), which is under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He also was Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Training and Capacity Development (OTCD) at the Health Resources and Service Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau.

In an interview with the San Francisco Public Press earlier this year, Phillips talked about strides that continue to be made with the Biden administration at the helm in an effort to stop HIV in its tracks permanently.

“The NIH (National Institutes of Health) is continuing to do work on a cure and a vaccine. It’s been documented and (is) well known that our ability to find the COVID-19 vaccine is a result of decades of HIV research toward a vaccine,” Phillips explained. “Now our research scientists involved in vaccine research for HIV have also learned a lot from that sort of effort. And now they’re turning their attention and refocusing our efforts for an HIV vaccine and also a vaccine cure.

“It’s still hopeful that we can get there, we’re learning so much. Our medications are much better than they were 35 years ago. We’ve come so far. And they’re continuing to work with a lot of the AIDS research that’s going on as well. And there are additional investments on the federal government’s part in that, too.”

This article appears courtesy of our media partner LGBTQNation. ::

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 17
Harold Phillips, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy

HIV and the evolution of Carolinas Care Partnership

Technology raises questions about HIV in our community and a

HIV has been with us for a long time now. For those of us who lived through the beginning and are still here, we’ve watched as the disease has changed from a death sentence to some thing that is manageable throughout a life time as long as an HIV-negative individual could potentially live.

Over the years, the population makeup of those infected with HIV has seem ingly changed.

We’re choosing to use the word seem ingly here for a reason: while the impact of HIV evolved, so did technology and the world around us.

Did that lack of technology have an impact on the way the world viewed and responded to HIV and AIDS at the time, as opposed to today?

Initially, HIV was an infection that ap peared to impact gay white men in larger cities. As time wore on, however, clients showing up at organizations that offered assistance for people living with AIDS and HIV changed. Fewer Caucasians, more women, more people of color and more trans folk.

But were men and women of color and trans individuals just less visible in the 1980s and 1990s because of culture and community? Were the men forced to re main closeted about their sexuality, while both the men and women ran under the radar because of a greater stigma related to HIV from their communities? Did the trans community of that time slip through the cracks because so few actively sought visibility, and were all too often rejected by society at large when they did?

With a lack of internet access and social media, finding a community of ac ceptance and comfort would have been a far greater challenge.

The question has arisen among HIV healthcare providers and many long-term

HIV survivors in recent years: were we all initially impacted by HIV as it evolved at the same rate? Were white gay men more visible because they had a larger commu nity of support that led to a greater likeli hood of being out about their sexuality and HIV status, while trans folk and BIPOC individuals were essentially blocked from seeking help?

Whatever the case may be, communi ties seeking service from HIV-related help and health organizations have definitely seen change.

Shannon Farrar has served as the executive director of Carolinas Care Partnership (CCP) since 2016, although she has been with the organization in some form or fashion since 2006.

“I would say that 85 percent of folks getting tested and seeking assistance here are people in the Trans and BIPOC com

look at the accomplishments achieved

munities,” Farrar confirms.

“Something else important we have learned is that individuals living in poverty, and those who experienced adverse child hood events, are more prone to HIV infec tion than those who have had a different life experience.”

That information is key. Without access to 21st century technology, such points of knowledge would be unavailable. As a result, the capability to target communi ties where need is the greatest becomes readily available.

Carolinas CARE Partnership was initially established in 1990. At the time it was known as the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium, which operated under the umbrella of Foundation for the Carolinas and the United Way of Central Carolinas.

Initially the organization was the admin istrator of the federal Ryan White CARE Act and the Housing Opportunities for Persons

With AIDS (HOPWA) programs that pro vided care, treatment and housing services in 10 counties across both Carolinas.

In 2010, the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium changed its name to Carolinas Care Partnership in an effort to more ac curately define their efforts to work with other organizations in the continuing fight against HIV.

As of 2021, CCP redefined their mission to clarify a focus on access to housing and healthcare for those most at need; and provide a close-up examination of how those elements can lead to injustice, especially for people of color.

Advancements in Technology and Services

One of the many ways CCP provides access to HIV testing and healthcare is through their Mobile Care unit: a Nissan

18 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022 life,
Coming soon to a town near you: Shannon Farrar, pictured here with Carolina Cares Partnership’s Nissan powered mobile testing unit. PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Yarbrough

van that routinely travels through such North Carolina counties as Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, and Union. In South Carolina they offer test ing and services in Chester, Lancaster and York County.

“We knew it was important to be mo bile,” Farrar explains. “In smaller towns, communities and rural areas, access to test ing is not always readily available.

“At first we leased the van with CDC funds,” Farrar recalls. “Eventually we were able to purchase it with money from the Elizabeth Taylor foundation. Then we added additional lighting and air conditioning.”

In addition to the expanded state trav el, CCP frequently offers testing through their mobile unit at local Pride events and by pre-arrangements in communities that have either requested their presence or shown a need.

In more recent years, CCP’s efforts have expanded even further. As the negative impact of the previous government admin istration and the COVID pandemic left many people financially destitute and without a place to live, homeless camps have begun to crop up around major cities across the country. Charlotte and the Mecklenburg region is no different.

“I don’t know exactly how many home less camps there are here,” says Farrar, “but we do visit two to three to offer test ing. We usually go with a police officer, only because it is someone they are familiar with, meaning the police officer, and they’re much more willing to talk with us if

someone they already know is with us.”

When it comes to housing possibilities through CCP, those currently in need will face a greater challenge than might have been expected prior to the COVID pan demic. Regardless, CCP continues to work hard to meet the needs of the economical ly challenged HIV community by providing scattered site housing.

“Funding comes from HUD (Housing and Urban Development), which is pro vided to HOPWA and the City of Charlotte. Then it comes to us. Clients pay 30 per cent of their monthly rental fee and we cover the rest.

“Currently we have 101 clients,” Farrar offers. “But we have a waiting list of 110.”

Farrar confirms the difficulty in find

ing available housing now, as opposed to availability during the pre-pandemic era, indicating landlords often want more money, and the potential lure of financial gain through an effort like a successful Air B&B bringing in more income is appealing.

“Still, we’ve been lucky,” she insists. “We’ve been able to achieve more fundrais ing than expected and I work with some amazing people.”

Earlier this year Transcend Charlotte and CCP announced they had merged in an effort to better serve the LGBTQ com munities of Charlotte.

In an interview carried by Qnotes in June, Transcend’s Executive Director Bethany Corrigan described the new developments: Transcend will be able to expand their expertise in gender eq uity, trans-focused programming, peer support groups, case management and community education, while CCP pro vides organizational, administrative and fundraising support.

“[Our] case management helps folks with income, Bill pay support and housing. Because of our [merger] with Carolinas Care Partnership, the housing resources have been expanded, and we can offer on the spot HIV testing.”

Both Farrar and Corrigan share the belief that combining pre-existing organi zations geared towards specific needs well ultimately lead to the best ways of serving the LGBTQ community.

With that outlook, the potential for even greater future expansion seems limitless. ::

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 19
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Carolina Cares Partnership Executive Director Shannon Farrar. PHOTO CREDIT: CCP

life, positively

There’s no doubt that there’s much to be said about HIV. It’s been over 40 years since the devastating virus entered our lives. Yes, our lives.

HIV/AIDS has impacted all of us be cause, even if you aren’t living with HIV in your body, chances are you know some one who has, is or will. Currently, and according to the website HIV.gov, about 15 percent (or one in seven) of infected people are unaware they are living with HIV in their bodies.

This equates to approximately 165,000 cases/people in the United States living with ignorance of their HIV status. Conversely there are those who are well aware of their status. Not only are they aware, but many have been living with the immunity-compro mising villain for decades.

When HIV first surfaced, conversations centered around symptoms, care and mor bidity. After all, back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, it was rare to have heard of or know a person who had survived the virus long term. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

While HIV continues to wage war in our communities, the case can be made that there is a need to have further discussions about how those directly and physically impacted by HIV can continue to thrive by living long healthier lives.

So why haven’t these conversations been more widespread? If that question showed up on the Jeopardy game show,

Aging with HIV

What you need to know

the winning response would undoubtedly be: “What is stigma?” Stigma leads the charge on why people don’t get tested, don’t disclose their status and are often clueless as to what it means to age with HIV. There are many forms of stigma, and all need to be eradicated if we really want a fighting chance of finally conquering the HIV epidemic. Stigma shows up by way of (and in no particular order):

1. Health care professionals refusing to provide care or services to people living with HIV in their bodies.

2. Friends, family and/or community members refusing casual contact.

3. Referring to people as HIVers or Positives.

4. Shaming and/or blaming through religious and cultural weaponizing.

5. Violence and abuse.

In Atlanta, Ga., a group of mature Black gay gentlemen seem to have found a way to prevent stigma (or their HIV status) from dominating their existence while they con tinue to live robust and productive lives.

To achieve that goal, they turned to a support group aimed at older men known as the Silver Lining Project, a part of THRIVE SS (Transforming HIV Resentments Into Victories Everlasting Support Services)

Founded by three Black gay men liv ing with HIV, these public health profes sionals saw a need for a special kind of camaraderie and seized an opportunity. They sought to bring to other Black gay men who shared their diagnosis what they themselves needed and wished for, a safe space where respect, affirmation, support and uplifting social interaction are commonplace. The non profit organization which began as an online social media group came to life in 2015.

“It began with a group of guys sitting around talking about their expe riences living with HIV,” said Malcolm Reid, the Director of Programs and one of the original orga nizers of THRIVE SS.

“Over time, we got a grant and developed a ‘Silver Skills Curriculum’ [that] educates men [age 50 and older] on the pro cess of aging with HIV,” he continued. “We talk about intersectionality, comor bidities, PTSD, trauma, survivor’s guilt, stigma, the effects of antiretroviral[s] and more.”

“One of the tools of defeating stigma is ad vocacy,” Reid explained. “Being able to fight for yourself, whether in your doctor’s office, if the doc tor says I only have 10 minutes, you need to be able to say: ‘Well, I have a lot of questions.’”

The importance of advocacy in reducing

stigma and bolster ing health equity is paramount in the Silver Skills Curriculum. Said Reid: “People living with HIV … are now living as long if not longer than those who aren’t. Why? Because we go to the doctor. Our HIV is under control and we find out about all the other things that happen when you’re aging.”

Closer to home, Rita McDaniel agrees that being in care and having a positive mindset are key to longevity for indi viduals living with HIV. McDaniel is an employee at North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN). She’s deeply involved in community engage ment and spends her days informing people (especially Black women who are disproportion ately impacted by HIV) about Hepatitis C, sexual health, wellness and PrEP (Pre-exposure prophy laxis), a once daily pill that is highly effective in preventing HIV (up to 97 percent), which is now also available in a long-acting injectable ap proved by the FDA.

“I’ve been living with it for 29 years now. Right after I was diagnosed, I was told I only had six months to live,” McDaniel recalled. “So, for me to still be here is a blessing. Back in the early ‘90s when I was first diagnosed, I was able to get care because I received both Medicaid and Medicare. Now, so many people don’t have that option, especially older adults. You no longer automatically receive disability like in the past when it was considered a death sentence.” McDaniel was atypically forthcoming in talking about how her diagnosis is impacted by aging. “In some cases, much of what’s going on with me now [like chronic pain] is worsened by HIV. Then I have other comorbidities that go along with that.

“What doctors won’t tell you, especially an older adult with chronic pain, is how helpful sexual activity can be in managing pain,” McDaniel explained. “A lot of my friends won’t have intercourse with any one because they think they can’t [have sex] without disclosing their status.

“With a lot of the criminalization laws in the beginning you no longer have to disclose [your HIV status] as long as you’ve been undetectable for at least six months. Though, if you’re a person with multiple partners or you are unsure of the status of your partner, you should still use condoms but feel free to enjoy a healthy sex life.

“Most people will think of living with HIV as something dirty or nasty, and if you’re an older person they’ll think life is over,” McDaniel offered. “I can truly say, life is good

while living with HIV and aging – my children are always mentioning how no grass can grow under my [active and busy] feet.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, McDaniel is one of over half (51 percent) of people in the United States and depen dent areas with diagnosed HIV who were aged 50 and older. In 2018, people 50 and older accounted for 17 percent of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses. Though new HIV diagnoses are declining among people aged 50 and older, around one in six HIV diagnoses in 2018 were in this group.

Medical providers have much to add to the topic as well.

Leslie Ware has been a Physician Assistant with over 20 years experience in the field, though her journey as a health educator began over 30 years ago. In her role as a family practitioner, she’s assisted patients in managing their HIV with care, education and compassion.

Ware shared her thoughts and ex pertise on aging with HIV: “Now [when compared to the 1980s and much of the 1990s] HIV management and therapy have become gentle from a physical health standpoint and more convenient and ef fective in reducing viral load[s] so people are inclined to be more adherent to therapy. There are fewer side effects with one pill options.”

At the onset of HIV/AIDS it was com mon for HIV patients to be saddled with a 28-pill regimen on a daily basis. Today, as Ware pointed out, “Treatments have

20 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022
Physician Assistant Leslie Ware has over 30 years of experience in HIV care. PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Douglas Malcolm Reid is the Director of Programs and one of the original organizers for THRIVE SS. PHOTO CREDIT : Facebook

become better and easier to comply with, making it likely that a person will be unde tectable within 30 days.”

When a person is “undetectable” they cannot pass on the HIV virus through sexual contact or shared intravenous drug use. At this point, the viral load is too low to mea sure because medication has decreased the amount of HIV present/detectable in a person’s blood.

Ware continued: “And there [is] much less drug resistance, people can live a normal life with HIV without the looming thought of sickness and death. As long as you’re compliant with your treatment you have the same chances of living as long as someone without HIV.”

That minimal pill regimen Ware spoke of is part of what HIV professionals and patients refer to as HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy). HAART is a standard treatment that consists of a combination of drugs (typically two to three medications often called “highly active antiretroviral therapy” that prohibit the virus from repli cating and further compromising a person’s immune system.

As for the difference in treating a senior patient and/or pathological changes as a result of aging with HIV, Ware explained, “You have to be selective with older patients because of their co-morbid conditions and their state of health. For example, if you have chronic kidney disease or diabetes, you have to be more careful with your medication choices. Even bone health, women experiencing menopause, need to be concerned with the type of medicine they use, as it may affect bone health or

bone density.

“As for our geriatric folks, there’s a misconception that the rate of HIV is low because they’re in the geriatric community, but there are high HIV rates in that com munity as well,” Ware offered.

“Their assumption is, ‘We’re old, we can’t get this,’ when that simply isn’t true.”

Clearly Ware is attentive to the stigma and myths surrounding HIV and works diligently to eradicate both with a blend of care and fact-based HIV awareness and knowledge.

Needless to say, the key to aging with HIV is awareness of your status. For older

adults this is even more important because pre-existing conditions and HIV medication can impact how a body responds to treat ment while handling other diagnoses, as Ware previously pointed out.

The use of multiple medications, changes in physical abilities, changes in cognitive abilities along with increased vulnerability and stress are issues many aging adults face.

For the aging adult also living with an HIV-compromised immune system, these things can be exasperated by HIV and its treatment. While the medical industry

continues to make strides in HIV treat ment, health organizations caution, “Many HIV-associated non-AIDS conditions occur frequently in older persons with HIV, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease and cancer. These conditions are likely related to a number of interacting factors, including chronic inflammation (something researchers are continuously working to figure out) caused by HIV.”

Information gleaned from HIV.gov also mentioned how HIV and its treatment can also have effects on the brain. Researchers estimate that between 25 and 50 percent of people with HIV have HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND), a spec trum of cognitive, motor and/or mood disorders categorized into three levels: asymptomatic, mild and HIV-associated dementia. Researchers are studying how HIV and its treatment affect the brain, including the effects on older people living with HIV.

At the end of the day, what you really need to take away from all this information is that data on long term survivors of HIV is still skimpy, and no credible health care provider, health organization or individual will suggest that you allow fear of currently studied X factors to prevent you from getting tested, knowing your status and getting into care.

If you can get a long-term thriver to engage in a candid discussion about their journey with HIV, most – if not all – will tell you: Surviving with vitality in the healthiest way possible most definitely beats the alternative. ::

Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 21
Rita McDaniel knows being in care and having a positive mindset are key to longevity for individuals living with HIV. PHOTO CREDIT: Rita McDaniel

life, positively HIV/AIDS service organizations

The Carolinas has a variety of com munity organizations, resources and services for those living with HIV/AIDS or those seeking to get involved in HIV/ AIDS prevention, education and advocacy.

North Carolina


Western North Carolina AIDS Project

554 Fairview Rd., Asheville, NC 28803 828-252-7489 wncap.org

WNCAP provides case management, prevention and education programs, outreach, HIV testing and other services throughout Western North Carolina. In addition to its main office in Asheville, the group also has offices and a presence in Franklin and Shelby.


Amity Medical Group

East Charlotte 6010 E. W.T. Harris Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28215 704-208-4134 9835 Monroe Rd Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28270 (704) 208-4134 10508 Park Rd #130 Charlotte, NC 28210 (704) 208-4134

South Charlotte 10508 Park Rd., Suite 130 Charlotte, NC 28210 704-208-4134 amitymed.org.

Amity Medical Group provides fullservice, primary care medical treatment, as well as HIV/AIDS managed care under the direction of Dr. Richard Wynn and J. Wesley Thompson, MHS, PA-C, AAHIVS, DFAAPA. The practice also has an onsite pharmacy operating under the umbrella of Rx Clinic Pharmacy with Olivia Bentley, PharmD, CFts, AAHIVP as the director of clinical pharmacy services, provides free/confidential HIV test ing, case management and prescribes HIV/ AIDS medications. Its offices are open to the community as a part of a collaborative effort to provide care and access to agencies and services outside its doors.

Carolinas CARE Partnership

5855 Executive Center Dr., Suite 101, Charlotte, NC 28212 704-531-2467 carolinascare.org.

Carolinas CARE Partnership provides free HIV/STD testing and counseling, mobile testing unit, housing assistance, peer training, case management and other services, prevention and education.

Dudley’s Place

103 Commerce Centre Drive, Suite 103 Huntersville, NC 28078

704-977-2972 myrosedalehealth.com/dudley

Dudley’s Place is an HIV non-profit housed at Rosedale Health and Wellness. The mission is to enhance the overall care of Rosedale’s HIV population. Offering a wide range of services including mental health counseling, nutrition counseling, food and toiletries assistance, support groups, peer navigation, community education, free test ing and transportation services.

House of Mercy

P.O. Box 808 (304 McAuley Cir.), Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-4711 (administration) 704-825-3000 (residence) thehouseofmercy.org.

House of Mercy provides housing and compassionate care for persons living with AIDS. In addition to room and board, House of Mercy coordinates medical care and therapies plus a variety of supplemen tal services to enhance the physical, emo tional and spiritual lives of its residents.

Mecklenburg County Department of Health

249 Billingsley Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211 704-336-6500/704-432-TEST (8378) bit.ly/2FpddQK.

Provides testing, case management, awareness, education and other services at various locations, events and times throughout the county and year.

The PowerHouse 2 Next Generation 3552 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC 28270

980-999-5295 facebook.com/ThePowerhouseProject/. PowerHouse 2 is a drop-in center and safe space for Black and Latino gay or bisexual men or men who have sex with men. The group offers a computer lab, weekly empowerment programs and workshops, retreats for men over 25 years old, social events, monthly discussion groups for men 18-29 years old and free and confidential HIV testing, which is al ways available during hours of operation. The PowerHouse Project is a program of Quality Home Care Services.

Quality Home Care Services 3602 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC 28207 704-394-8968


Quality Home Care Services provides a variety of services for those living with HIV including case management, HIV/ AIDS prevention programs and testing, substance abuse treatment, communitybased rehabilitation services for those with mental development disabilities and other services.=


601 E. 5th Street, Suite 470, Charlotte, NC 28202 704-372-7246

22 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022


RAIN engages the community to trans form lives and promote respect and dignity for all people touched by HIV through compassionate care, education and leader ship development. Services include CARE Management, Peer2Peer support and outreach, support groups for youth, faithbased training, chaplain services and caring volunteers who provide practical support to persons living with HIV and AIDS. RAIN also provides HIV awareness and preven tion education programs to thousands of people each year and is the only HIV nonprofit in the Charlotte metropolitan area providing direct client services.

RAO Community Health 321 W. 11th St., Charlotte, NC 28202 704-237-8793 raoassist.org.

RAO Community Health is a non-profit committed to providing awareness, sup port, and services for those living with HIV/ AIDS and other health disparities; along with providing prevention and education for those looking to protect their sexual health. Some of the services and programs include: PrEP program, support group for those living with HIV, and educational train ing for volunteers. RAO also provides hous ing assistance and toiletry pantry services for those in need with HIV.

Rosedale Health and Wellness 321 W 11th St Charlotte, NC 28202 (704) 237-8793 myrosedalehealth.com.

Rosedale Health and Wellness is a full-service HIV/infectious diseases clinic that offers a variety of medical services. Staff, under the direction of Dr. Frederick Cruickshank, work closely with medical case management organizations and engage in clinical trials, among other services. It houses a Walgreen’s Specialty Pharmacy to support the needs of its clients and patients.



(Pitt County AIDS Service Organization) 3219 Landmark St. Suite 1B, Greenville NC, 27834 252-830-1660 picaso.org.

Starting as a grassroots organizationfo cused on supporting those living with HIV/ AIDS, providing buddy programs, nutri tional support and healthcare advocacy, the agency changed over the years to a case-management-focused agency working with long-term client support. Currently, the group provides HIV testing, education and advocacy and emergency funding for those living with HIV/AIDS.


Positive Wellness Alliance

400 E. Center St., Lexington, NC 27292 336-248-4646 704 Brooktown Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-722-0976 positivewellnessalliance.org.

Positive Wellness Alliance is a communi ty-based organization that provides medical case management, financial assistance, life skills management classes, support groups and housing assistance. It serves Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Rowan, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin Counties.

Triad Health Project 801 Summit Ave., Greensboro, NC 27406 336-275-1654

501 W. Westwood Ave., High Point, NC 27262 336-884-4116 triadhealthproject.org.

Triad Health Project provides case management and other client support ser vices, HIV testing and prevention outreach, medical, social service and legal referrals, food pantry and nutritional resources and education, support groups and education, art and exercise programs.


Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina

1637 Old Louisburg Rd., Raleigh, NC 27604 919-834-2437 aas-c.org.

Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina pro vides case management, HIV/STD testing and counseling, emergency assistance for rent and utilities, transportation assistance, housing information and referrals, mental health, substance abuse and support group resources, referrals and programs.

CAARE – The Healing Center (Community Action Advocacy Restoration and Empowerment) 214 Broadway St., Durham, NC, 27701 919-683-5300 caare-inc.org.

CAARE – The Healing Center’s mission is to provide effective prevention and case management services to at-risk persons and their families in Durham by referring health and social resources that can allevi ate isolation yet foster independence; to empower the population with preventative health education, counseling, and testing by establishing and maintaining networks and utilizing resources that address the health and social needs of the community; and to provide decent housing that is affordable to low- to moderate-income people.


New Hanover Regional Medical Center 2131 S. 17th St., Wilmington, NC 28401 910-667-7000 nhrmc.org/services/hiv-aids

New Hanover Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive care for patients of all ages and throughout each stage of HIV, from acute HIV to latency to AIDS. Satellite clinics are in Whiteville, N.C., Jacksonville, N.C. and Burgaw, N.C.



1120 Fairgrove Church Rd. S.E., Suite 28, Hickory, NC 28602 828-322-1447 alfainfo.org.

ALFA, formerly known as AIDS Leadership Foothills Area-Alliance, has provided supportive services to those infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. ALFA currently provides supportive and medical case management, prevention education, and outreach to a nine-county service area. ALFA’s service area consists of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Watauga and Wilkes Counties.


Affinity Health Center 455 Lakeshore Pky., Rock Hill, SC 29730 803-909-6363


Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022 qnotes 23 WORLD AIDS DAY HONOR • EDUCATE • EMPOWER affinityhealthcenter.org/get-tested TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH GET TESTED FREE Confidential Testing Rapid HIV | Rapid HEP C Chlamydia & Gonorrhea WALK - IN TESTING Monday - Thursday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm FREE HIV SELF-TESTS (York, Chester, and Lancaster County Residents) affinityhealthcenter.org/request-a-test STAY
See ASOs on page 25
24 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022 OFFERING FREE TESTING. EVERY DAY. 704.948.8582 @MyRosedaleHealth myrosedalehealth.com Call to book your appointment today

life, positively


Affinity Health Center, formerly known as Catawba Health Care, provides primary care and specialist referrals, nutritional counseling, counseling and mental health care/services, dental care, case manage ment and support, HIV specialty care and HIV/STD testing. It serves York, Chester and Lancaster Counties with satellites in Clover, Fort Mill and York, S.C.

AID Upstate 13 S. Calhoun St., Greenville, SC 29601 864-250-0607 aidupstate.org.

AID Upstate provides supportive services to people affected by HIV/AIDS in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee and Pickens Counties of South Carolina. Its medical needs are handled in partnership with New Horizon Family Health Services (Greenville, S.C.) and ANMED Infectious Disease Clinic (Anderson, S.C.).

Careteam + 100 Professional Park Dr., Conway, SC 29526 843-234-0005 careteamplus.org.

Careteam provides supportive services for individuals living with HIV, including medical care, case management, HIV testing, counsel ing and education, risk assessment and coun seling and screening in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties.

Palmetto Community Care 3547 Meeting Street Rd., Charleston, SC 29405 843-747-2273 aids-services.com

For more than two decades, Palmetto Community Care (formerly known as Lowcountry AIDS Services) has been serv ing those living with HIV/AIDS in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties. It provides case management, access to medical care and housing, financial, nutri tional and legal assistance along with other supportive services in the Charleston area. PCC also works to prevent the growth of the epidemic through education, media campaigns, community outreach and free, daily HIV/STD testing.


(Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services) 2638 Two Notch Rd., Suite 108, Columbia, SC 29204 803-779-7257 palss.org.

Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services offers free services to individuals who have been diagnosed with or are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, as well as providing support to its clients’ loved ones. It offers HIV testing, among other healthcare needs, along with support groups and adjunct assistance. PALSS maintains a food pantry for its clients.

Piedmont Care Inc.

Wells Fargo Building 101 N. Pine St., Suite 200, Spartanburg, SC 29302 864-582-7773 piedmontcare.org

Piedmont Care is a non-profit organiza tion providing HIV/AIDS care, prevention and advocacy in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties of South Carolina.

CareSouth Carolina/Care Innovations 201 S. Fifth St., Hartsville, SC 29551 843-857-0111

268 Main St., Society Hill, SC 29593 843-378-3441


CareSouth Carolina, through Care Innovations, provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS primary health care for individ uals in Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Lee and Marlboro Counties. These services are made possible through a federal Ryan White Part C grant. Patients can have a “one-stop shop” experience at CareSouth Carolina.

South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council 1813 Laurel St., Columbia, SC 28201 803-254-6644

The South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council works to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS statewide. It provides this through com munity mobilization, prevention, education and advocacy, while improving the quality of life for those affected by HIV/AIDS.


AIDS Legal Project at Duke School of Law law.duke.edu/aidsproject/.

The AIDS Legal Project provides confi dential legal representation to low-income HIV-infected clients with legal problems relating to their diagnosis. Legal assistance is provided by law students under the supervision of attorneys.

North Carolina AIDS Action Network P.O. Box 25044, Raleigh, NC, 27611-5044 ncaan.org

The North Carolina AIDS Action Network is a statewide advocacy organization fight ing for the rights of people living with HIV/ AIDS, their loved ones and those at risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS in North Carolina.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

HIV/STD Prevention and Care https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/stds/program.html

NC Harm Reduction Network nchrc.org.

The North Carolina Harm Reduction Network is a statewide grassroots advocacy, resource development and coalition-build ing organization that provides direct ser vices for a variety of issues, including drug use, sex work, immigration issues, genders, sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV.

Planned Parenthood Various locations bit.ly/2zEFblq.

Planned Parenthood’s various locations across the state provide safer sex educa tion and information and HIV testing.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

HIV/STD Education and Prevention bit.ly/2NVkWHw.

[Ed. Note: qnotes has prepared this comprehensive list of ASOs, etc., for our readers. To that extent, organizations and agencies may have been omitted. If readers will email editor@qnotescarolinas.com with other listings (must have full name, address, phone number and website), qnotes will be happy to add them to the compilation. List accuracy and integrity are vital. Please report any errors or changes that need to be made.] ::

2022 qnotes 25
Nov. 25-Dec. 9,
704-208-4134 amitymed.org ASOs from page 23

Queer and HIV erasure in museums


Despite growing acceptance and increased visibility of queer culture in recent years, it is still rare to come across museum exhibitions that effectively translate the LGBTQ experience.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, a Cuban-born American artist, has widely been known for his instal lations and sculptures – and by the influence of his gay identity on his work. His most famous installations are participatory, and many translate his personal experience with AIDS, his rela tionships and loss.

That’s why it may have been somewhat surprising to learn that the mention of AIDS was absent from a label accompanying one of his most popular works when it was reinstalled at the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) this July. According to Hyperallergic, the wall label was originally changed in 2018 when the work was briefly on display that summer.

“Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)” consists of a large pile of cellophane-wrapped candy, 175 pounds worth to be exact, cor responding to the ideal weight of Gonzalez-Torres’s late partner.

The original label read: “This installation is an allegorical por trait of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDSrelated illness in 1991. The 175 pounds of candy can be seen to correspond to Laycock’s ideal body weight. Adult visitors are invited to take a piece of candy; the diminishing pile parallels Laycock’s weight loss prior to his death. The museum can choose to replenish the pile, metaphorically ensuring Laycock perpetual life, or to let the pile disappear over time.”

Gonzalez-Torres also died in 1996 from an AIDS-related illness.

On September 25, Zac Thriffiley penned a letter titled “A Concerning Change in the Contemporary Wing,” that was posted to his Facebook page and later printed in the Windy City Times. In the letter, the Chicagobased English teacher speaks of his shock and disappointment to find “that the description had been changed, removing any reference to HIV/AIDS and GonzalezTorres’s homosexuality.”

“How can the Art Institute engage in such a brazen act of queer erasure?”

asked Thriffiley. “By removing any refer ence to HIV/AIDS and queer sexuality, your curatorial staff and the Institute as a whole have stripped the work of its personal resonance and political power for the

many, many visitors not already familiar with the work.”

The new label read: “Felix GonzalezTorres’s work is characterized by a sense of quiet elegy. He possessed an uncanny ability to produce elegant and restrained sculptural forms out of common materi als. “Unititled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) consists of commercially available, shiny wrapped confections. The physical form of the work changes depending on the way it is installed. The idea weight of the work, 175 pounds, corresponds to the average body weight of an adult male. As visitors choose to take candy from the work, the volume and weight of the work decrease.”

Thriffiley’s letter speaks to the impor tance of visibility, especially for young LGBTQ people and for those who don’t identify as LGBTQ who may learn from the experience.

His post went viral on social me dia leading the museum to change the description with only minimal refer ence to AIDS and “the artist’s partner.” It still seems to diminish the importance of his HIV status and their relationship

in Gonzalez-Torres’s work. The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation also makes no mention of AIDS or of Ross as his part ner in its description of the piece online.

A Growing Issue

According to Christopher Leitch, a mu seum consultant and visual artist based in Kansas City, the erasure parallels a pattern of censorship found in other cultural institutions over the past couple of years. Leitch was the lead author of “LGBTQ Welcoming Guidelines for Museums” in 2016, that was published by the LGBTQ Alliance professional network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

In 2021, state park officials in Missouri removed an exhibit documenting the LGBTQ rights movement in Kansas City from the state capitol after complaints from a legislative staffer. According to the Kansas City Star, a legislator assistant posted a complaint on Facebook that by displaying the exhibit, the “taxpayer funded museum is pushing the LGBT agenda in our state capitol.” The Missouri State Museum is housed in the first floor

of the state capitol.

Locally, the Gaston County Museum, in Dallas, N.C. removed a photo taken by Grant Baldwin during the 2019 Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade from an exhibit of local photographers.

In September, a Memphis museum cancelled a drag per formance after armed protestors showed up.

According to Nexstar Media Wire, the Museum of Science & History was set to host the Memphis Proud drag show and dance party in connection with sev eral exhibits focused on LGBTQ history, including the national traveling ex hibit “Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement.”

The pattern is alarming to many in the museum industry and Thriffiley’s letter set created a firestorm for many in the field.

Rock Hushka, a cocurator of the 2016 exhi bition “Art AIDS America” at the Bronx Museum, told Hyperallergic that lately there has been a push toward a more aesthetic interpreta tion of Gonzalez-Torres’ work, away from his per sonal biography. “The whole idea of Felix’s work is that those two aspects are inextricably combined,” he said. “And you should never remove one or the other.”

Thriffiley did eventually receive a response from the museum with a link to the new label. The e-mail read in part, that a new label had been installed that included more biographical information, stating that “in concert with artists and their estates/foundations, we continu ally update labels to introduce different types of context.”

Still, Thriffiley believes the updated label diminishes “the importance of HIV and its queerness to the work.” He says “The AIC is attempting to raise suspicion where there has always been certainty.

I’m glad AIC felt compelled to make some kind of change, but it’s still not enough when friends of mine continue to receive HIV diagnoses year after year…they still are subject to long-lasting social and institutional prejudices that seek to de humanize and diminish their existence in a given community.” ::

26 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022
life, positively
The change in a museum label raises public attention to the lack of LGBTQ representation and the growing threats against it in public
A visitor takes a candy from “Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)” by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. PHOTO CREDIT: via Flickr / mark 6mauno is licensed under CC BY 2.0

life, positively Free HIV testing locations

Providing a vital lifeline for those effected by HIV/AIDS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many individuals have never been tested for HIV. In addition, the CDC states that of the thousands of new HIV diag noses every year, many are likely trans mitted by those unaware that they are HIV-positive.

There are a number of free HIV testing sites across North Carolina and South Carolina. Many also offer testing for other STDs, as well as vaccines for hepatitis and HPV.

Call for information on days, times and for information on all the services they of fer. You can also visit gettested.cdc.gov to search for more testing sites in your area.

North Carolina


Amity Medical Group 6010 East W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte 10508 Park Rd., Suite 130, Charlotte 9835 Monroe Rd Ste B, Charlotte 704-208-4134 amitymed.org

Atrium Health NorthPark 251 Eastway Dr., Charlotte 704-446-9991 atriumhealth.org

Carolinas Care Partnership 5855 Executive Dr., Ste. 101, Charlotte 704-531-2467 carolinascare.org

Lake Norman Community Health Clinic 14230 Hunters Rd., Huntersville 704-316-6611 lnchc.org

Mecklenburg County Health Department 1500 E. 3rd St., Charlotte 704-432-8378 bit.ly/38hfcUi

Mecklenburg County Health Department Southeast Campus 249 Billingsley Rd., Charlotte 704-336-6500 bit.ly/2qGKnkY

Mecklenburg County Health Department Northwest Campus 2845 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte 704-336-6500 bit.ly/2qGKnkY

Novant Health (Fee based) 1900 Randolph Rd., Suite 216, Charlotte 704-316-5330 bit.ly/36cVfLH

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Charlotte Health Center 700 S. Torrence St., Charlotte 704-536-7233 bit.ly/2GIKJzV

RAO Community Health 321 W. 11th St., Charlotte 704-237-8793 raoassist.org

RAIN 601 E. 5th St., Ste. 470, Charlotte 704-372-7246 carolinarain.org

Rosedale Health and Wellness 103 Commerce Centre Dr., #103, Huntersville 704-948-8582 myrosedalehealth.com

Quality Home Care Services Inc. 3552 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte 704-394-8968 qhcsnc.org

Reserve Health (Fee based) 135 W. 10th St., Charlotte 704-626-3994 reservehealth.com

University of North Carolina at Charlotte Student Health Center 9530 Poplar Terrace Dr., Charlotte 704-687-7400 studenthealth.uncc.edu

Urban Ministry Center 945 N. College St., Charlotte 704-347-0278 urbanministrycenter.org

Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy 1500 E. 3rd St., Charlotte 704-526-4651 bit.ly/2zwQgVt


Buncombe County Department of Health 53 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville 828-250-5016 buncombecounty.org/Governing/Depts/ Health

Asheville VA Medical Center 1100 Tunnel Rd., Asheville 828-298-7911 asheville.va.gov. Eligibility requirement: Only open to veterans.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Asheville Health Center 68 McDowell St., Asheville 828-252-7928

plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic

Western North Carolina AIDS Project 554 Fairview Rd., Asheville 828-252-7489 wncap.org.

Carrboro University of North Carolina School of Medicine 301 Lloyd St., Carrboro 984-538-1031

Appointment Only unc.live/2PomrRU.

Chapel Hill Piedmont Health Services Inc. 127 Kingston Dr., Chapel Hill 919-933-8494 piedmonthealth.org.

Planned Parenthood Chapel Hill Health Center 1765 Dobbins Dr., Chapel Hill 919-942-7762

plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic

Orange County Health Department Southern Human Services 2501 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill 919-245-2400 orangecountync.gov/health


CAARE – The Healing Center 214 Broadway St., Durham 919-683-5300 caare-inc.org

Durham County Department of Public Health 414 E. Main St., Durham 919-560-7600 dconc.gov/publichealth

Gateway Campus, Durham 4113 Capitol St., Suite B, Durham 919-251-9444 https://gatewaywomens.care/services/stitesting/

Lincoln Community Health Center 1301 Fayetteville St., Durham 919-956-4000 lincolnchc.org

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Durham Health Center 105 Newsom St., Suite 101, Durham 919-286-2872 plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic

Samaritan Health Clinic-East 507 E. Knox St., Durham 919-407-8223 samaritanhealthcenter.org

Samaritan Health Clinic-South 3205 University Drive, Suite 107, Durham 919-407-8223 samaritanhealthcenter.org.

Triangle Empowerment Center 931 E Main St, Durham, NC 27701 800-806-3558 triempowerment.org.


Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Fayetteville Health Center 4551 Yadkin Rd., Fayetteville 866-942-7762 plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent


Fuquay Varina Hand of Hope Pregnancy Centers 607 N. Ennis St., Fuquay Varina 919-577-9050 yourchoicepregnancyclinic.com.


Alcohol and Drug Services 1101 Carolina St, Greensboro, NC 27401 336-333-6860, ext 250 adsyes.org/free-hiv-testing.

Guilford County Health Department 1100 E. Wendover Ave., Greensboro 336-641-3245 bit.ly/2T2TUzO.

Nia Community Action Center Self Help Building 122 N. Elm St., Ste. 520, Greensboro 336-617-7722 niacacinc.org.

Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency 1102 E. Market St., Greensboro 336-274-1507 piedmonthealthservices.org.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Greensboro Health Center 1704 Battleground Ave., Greensboro 336-373-0678 plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic.

Triad Health Project 801 Summit Ave., Greensboro 336-275-1654 triadhealthproject.org.


Pitt County AIDS Service Organization (PiCASO)

3219 Landmark St., Ste. 1B, Greenville 252-830-1660 bit.ly/2Nz4NIT

High Point

Guilford County Health Department 501 E. Green Dr., High Point 336-641-3245 bit.ly/2T2TUzO

Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency 401 Taylor St., High Point 336-886-6261 piedmonthealthservices.org

Triad Health Project 501 W. Westwood Ave., High Point 336-884-4116 triadhealthproject.org


Orange County Health Department See free testing

28 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022
on page 30
Bringing you world class healthcare. Always accepting new patients.
Dr. Frederick Cruickshank, MD Owner & Medical Director Ashley D. Scott Nurse Practitioner

life, positively

Free testing from 28

Whitted Human Services Center 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough 919-245-2400 orangecountync.gov/health


Alliance of AIDS Services- Carolina 1637 Old Louisburg Rd., Raleigh 919-834-2437 aas-c.org

1st Choice Pregnancy Solutions 4237 Louisburg Rd., Raleigh 919-554-8093

Gateway Campus, Hillsborough 1306 Hillsborough St., Raleigh 919-250-3950 https://gatewaywomens.care/services/stitesting/

LGBT Center of Raleigh 19 W Hargett St UNIT 507, Raleigh, NC 27601 919-832-4484 lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

Urban Ministries of Wake County Open Door Clinic 1390 Capital Blvd., Raleigh 919-832-0820 urbanmin.org.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Raleigh Health Center 100 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh 919-833-7526 plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthoodsouth-atlantic

Wake County Human Services Division of Public Health and Clinics 10 Sunnybrook Rd., Clinic A, Raleigh 10 Sunnybrook Rd., Clinic E, Raleigh 919-212-7000 bit.ly/2JWiz4A

Wake County Human Services Millbrook Human Services Center 2809 E. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh 919-431-4000 bit.ly/2JWiz4A

Womens Center of Wake County Incorporated 112 Cox Ave., Raleigh 919-829-3711 wcwc.org

Your Choice Pregnancy 1701 Jones Franklin Rd., Raleigh 919-758-8444 yourchoicepregnancyclinic.com.


Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Wilmington Health Center 1925 Tradd Ct., Wilmington 910-762-5566



Forsyth County Department of Public Health 799 N. Highland Ave., Winston-Salem 336-703-3100 bit.ly/2RO7NA7

Nia Community Action Center Incorporated 1001 S. Marshall St., Suite 238A, Winston-Salem 336-293-8408 niacacinc.org.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Winston-Salem Health Center 3000 Maplewood Ave., Suite 112, Winston-Salem 336-768-2980

plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic.

Positive Wellness Alliance Winston-Salem Office 1001 S. Marshall St., Suite L7, Winston-Salem 336-772-0976 positivewellnessalliance.org.



Fetter Health Care Network Downtown Health Center 51 Nassau St., Charleston 843-722-4112 fetterhealthcare.org

Palmetto Community Care 3547 Meeting Street Rd., Charleston 843-747-2273 palmettocommunitycare.org

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Charleston Health Center 1312 Ashley River Rd., Charleston 843-628-4380

plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic


Acercamiento Hispano de Carolina del Sur 87 Wild Wood Ave., Columbia 803-419-5112 schispanicoutreach.org

AIDS Healthcare Foundation AHF Columbia Grace Medical Group 3052 Farrow Rd., Columbia 803-933-0288 aidshealth.org

Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services of South Carolina 2638 Two Notch Rd., Ste. 108, Columbia 803-779-7257 palss.org.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Columbia Health Center 2712 Middleburg Dr., Suite 107, Columbia 803-256-4908

plannedparenthood.org/planned-parent hood-south-atlantic

South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control 2000 Hampton Street, Columbia 803-898-0749 https://scdhec.gov/


Affinity Health Center 455 Lakeshore Pky., Rock Hill 803-909-6363 affinityhealthcenter.org

30 qnotes Nov.25-Dec.9, 2022

Our People: Chelsea Gulden

President and CEO of Rain talks about her journey and hopes for the future

Chelsea Gulden is a name many Charlotteans and surrounding area professionals and residents are familiar with. More specifically, when her name is mentioned most folks immedi ately think about RAIN (a Charlotte based organization that empowers persons living with HIV and those at risk to be healthy and stigma free).

This interview will give you a bit of an up close and intimate peak into the life of Gulden, the woman at the helm of this organization. She is, after all, more than an ally; she’s Our People. She candidly pointed that out at the very start, “A lot of people know me as an advocate for the LGBT community, but although I’ve been in a relationship with a man for a very long time, I identify as bi.”

L’Monique King: How long have you been in Charlotte?

Chelsea Gulden: Oooo, I’ve lived in Charlotte since I was 16. I grew up in New Jersey actually. My dad got a job down here, I went to UNC-Charlotte for college, fell into the work and have been ever since.

LMK: Tell me about the work.

CG: Yes. I’ve been living with HIV in my body for 19 years. I don’t mind if you print my age. I turned 40 this year. I fell into the HIV sphere [the work] shortly after I was diagnosed [with HIV] at 21. I actually found out because I was pregnant. My oldest is 18 and my other two kids are 11 and 12 years old. When I was first diagnosed, the doctor said, “Oh you could live for 20 years.” So next year, I plan to celebrate my forty-first in a big “fuck you, HIV” kinda way because I’m still here and I’m still thriving.

LMK: Have you always been in an executive position at RAIN?

CG: No. I am currently the President and CEO at RAIN in Charlotte. I’ve been in this position for two years, but I’ve been at RAIN for 12 years and in the field for 18 years.

LMK: If you weren’t living with HIV in your body, do you think you’d be in this field?

CG: I don’t know. I was already in school for Social Work [at the time of my diagnosis] and knew I’d be in a helping profession and have always had the heart for community work and service work. Someone once told me that HIV is the vortex of all social justice issues. So, within this work you see transphobia, racism and so many isms and phobias showing up in the HIV Intervention and Prevention space.

LMK: You sound impassioned. Do you enjoy your work in HIV Intervention and Prevention?

CG: I love it! I grew up in Jersey and re member going with my church every Friday night to feed the homeless under Brooklyn Bridge. In this work I’m able to continue doing the work of feeding people; with knowledge, services and support.

Early on in the field when I was being trained. I realized that the majority of people who were texting at the time were younger people. I realized at that point that we weren’t reaching younger people. And that’s how the youth program EPY (Empowering Positive Youth), which was actually started at MAP (Metrolina AIDS Project), was started and later brought to RAIN. Youth and HIV, that particular intersection, has always been very close to my heart.

LMK: What does it mean for you to be an ally (if you consider yourself one) and why?

CG: I grew up in an extremely liberal family. My sister, who is nine years older than me, came out when I was in elemen tary school. It’s always been her and her girlfriend coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. By middle school I had my first relationship with a girl. Today, a lot of people look at me as a woman with children, married to a man and they just make the assumption that I’m straight when I’m actually bi.

LMK: HIV and advocacy work can be challenging and even draining at times. What’s your self-care go-to?

CG: That’s a great question and some thing I continue to think about and work on. I honestly don’t do a good job with self-care. I know this and am working on changing it. I like to spend time with my kids, but I honestly get a lot of joy out of the work. When a client calls me and they’re doing well, that really gives me the fuel to smile, feel good about life and to keep going.

LMK: What’s your coping mecha nism during difficult times or tough days at work?

CG: A phone call to my sister. This work is multifaceted. So, on tough days, I can call my sister [also in a helping profession] to get it off my chest, and she tells me

about experiences that bond us. I also hug my children, play with them and zone out watching Netflix.

LMK: Do you have a favorite show?

CG: Currently no favorites, but I just got finished with Handmaid’s Tale last season [a hulu television series based on the book by Margaret Atwood about life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society – previously the United States – ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummet ing birth rate]. It’s really good and also very scary because a lot of people think it’s so unlikely to happen, like it’s so far-fetched, but I believe that current events are so close to moving in that direction that a lot of people need to wake up to that fact.

LMK: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

CG: I do believe ranch dressing, cheese or chocolate goes with just about any thing. Anything you put in front of me – one of those three things is probably going to go on it.

LMK: Ranch dressing, cheese and chocolate aside, what is Chelsea doing 10 years from now?

CG: Hopefully looking for another job because we’ve come so far in HIV I’m no longer needed. More realistically, probably continuing the work with an intersectional lens. I’m trying to be very intentional about that. I don’t believe we can make move ment in ending the epidemic with just a healthcare lens.

LMK: Someone who has recently been diagnosed with HIV may read this. What would you say to them?

CG: Stigma still exists and it’s every body’s responsibility to talk about it and teach about it, whether you feel like it af fects you or not. Sometimes we only look [solely] to the LGBT community to change stigma, and that’s where we go wrong. To someone just diagnosed, I would say you’ll have good days and bad days, but the good days will outweigh the bad days, so take your time, know this is a journey and we’re here for you. ::

qnotes 31
Nov. 25-Dec. 9, 2022
If you’re recently diagnosed with HIV: ‘Know this is a journey and we’re here for you.’ –Chelsea Gulden, President and CEO of RAIN. PHOTO CREDIT : Facebook