Volunteers Serving HIV Community Locally and Globally to Receive Award
Claudia Svarstad and Beckie Harkey of Tucson, Arizona and Denver, Colorado, have been selected to receive the Center for Health and Hope’s 2020 Leadership Award for their extraordinary volunteer service in Tucson, Denver, and around the globe.
Scott Blades, Executive Director of the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), commented, “Beckie and Claudia have a long history of advocacy and support for people with HIV, and we are so fortunate that they’ve continued those efforts here locally since they moved to Tucson. They have such a heart for giving, and we’re so happy to help celebrate their impact.”
Center Sponsors Three India Seminars:
Facing LGBTQ & AIDS Discrimination
How can I become a professional social worker when I believe the Bible condemns LGBTQ persons?" was the question posed to Center Executive Director Dr. Don Messer at one of three seminars sponsored in India. Attendees were eager to expand their knowledge both of HIV and what it means to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered.
Participants were persons of Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, & Christian backgrounds, seeking insight and information at conferences in Calcutta, Chennai, and Trichy. "People struggle with dysfunctional faiths that betray their own rationality or noble impulses toward acceptance," says Messer. "These seminars are one key way the Center seeks to encourage inclusiveness and stamp out stigma."
World AIDS Day 2019
Global AIDS: Nearly Over or Still Flourishing?
Muslim, Jewish & Christian leaders spoke Dec. 1, at 7 pm, during World AIDS Day ceremonies at Park Hill UMC, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver. Ms. Imani Latif, Bishop Karen Oliveto, persons living with HIV, & others shared their experiences and their visions for the future. Music performed by Harmony, a LGBTQA Chorale. Rev. Dr. Valerie Jackson was the chair of this annual event that remembers both those who have died of AIDS and those who are living with HIV.
Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer, Executive Director of the Center for Health and Hope, traveled to Amsterdam this summer to participate in the 22nd International AIDS Conference. He wrote an article for the United Methodist News Service.
"Measuring whether the HIV and AIDS pandemic is nearly over or still flourishing depends on where you live and whether you see the proverbial glass half-full or half-empty.
If you are among the 60 percent of the 37 million people infected in the world who have access to life-saving treatment, your perspective will be different than the 40 percent still threatened by the disease.
Speakers at the July 23-27 22rd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which drew some 15,000 participants, celebrated glowing progress made in recent years in reducing infections and deaths in certain parts of the world..."