AIDS Education Month Events

  • HIV Prevention and Education Virtual Conference Kick Off

    June 1, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM
    Is this your first time joining the HIV Prevention and Education Summit virtually? Well, it is our first time, so it most certainly would be yours too! We are very excited to bring you the content we would normally present at our annual conference in this new and exciting format! We have over 20 webinars ranging in topic from cure research to self-care tips for service providers, programming for youth, and much more! All of the webinars and virtual content are free, and some webinars may be presented by folks you know! It will be a month of public health education showcasing the intersection of HIV prevention, treatment, and justice against the backdrop of current events. Join conference organizers Dr. Tashina Reeder and Kyle Chvasta of the Community Health Training Alliance as they kick off Philadelphia FIGHT’s 1st virtual conference followed by a special message from Philadelphia FIGHT’s CEO Jane Shull. Just because everything else is on pause, it does not mean public health education has to be. Join us for the 2020 HIV Prevention and Education Virtual Conference!


    Jane Shull

    Chief Executive Officer Jane Shull is the Executive Director of Philadelphia FIGHT, where she has worked for over 20 years. In this role, she has overseen the expansion of FIGHT from a small start-up nonprofit to a comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk. In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, Shull was involved in activism with ACT UP Philadelphia. Prior to her work at FIGHT, she worked at the Institute for the Study of Civic Values, developing programs to empower low income communities to take charge of their own futures. Shull has taught at the Temple School of Social Administration and at the University of Pennsylvania Urban Studies Program.    

    Tashina ReederTashina Reeder, PhD, LSW

    Director of the Community Health Training Alliance and Clinical Supervisor Dr. Reeder joined the Philadelphia FIGHT family in 2018. She holds a Doctorate in Couple and Family Therapy and a Masters in Social Work. She is a licensed social worker who holds certifications in Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy and Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model (TREM) groups for women and young girls alike. In her current role, Dr. Reeder creates and organizes health-related educational forums i.e., conferences, webinars, etc., in collaboration with the community and other social service providers to educate professionals and the community at large. Prior to her current role, Dr. Reeder worked in the capacity of the Clinical Director of a substance abuse program for women for 11 years, where she offered treatment services to women and their families promoting self-determination, self-efficacy, recovery supports, and education.  Her love for people and culture has afforded her opportunities to travel abroad to teach and inspire women and youth to be speakers of life in a world where oppressive constructs are created and misused. She has also presented at various academic and professional forums on topics of Spirituality, Addictions, Trauma, and Empathy, and currently facilitates professional development training on the subject of trauma-informed care within behavioral health institutions.   Dr. Reeder has hosted and coordinated women’s empowerment conferences in the Bahamas, South Carolina, and Philadelphia, where in which women were uplifted to move beyond their emotional pain into a place of healing and purpose. She is one of the co-authors in a book entitled,” Pink Sisters Chronicles 3: It Takes a Village.” Dr. Reeder was honored as a No More Secrets Survivor honoree by the No More Secrets MBS: A Realistic Approach to Sexual Health organization in 2017. Dr. Reeder is a lover of travel, art, music, dance, movies, string instruments, and reading a good novel. Her life’s motto is, “An empowered soul has no limits!”    

    Kyle Chvasta

    Public Programs Manager Kyle Chvasta is a Macro Social Worker with a passion for public health education. Kyle has worked at Philadelphia FIGHT for four years developing, and implementing large scale conferences, lectures, and webinars that address the impact adverse social determinants of health have on the individual and communities. Kyle is currently the Public Programs Manager at the Community Health training Alliance, a Program of FIGHT. Kyle received his MSW from Temple University in 2016. He structures his work around the principle that one must address the systemic and structural issues that create said determinants of health. To be an effective social-worker he believes in acknowledging and unpacking one’s privilege, working to dismantle racist and classist systems, and integrating radical and compassionate models into one’s personal practice.
  • Goals for our city and strategies for our future: Ending the HIV Epidemic in Philadelphia

    June 1, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    In Philadelphia, reducing new HIV infections and improving health outcomes for People Living with HIV (PLWH) remains a challenge. Despite steady declines in new HIV diagnosis, Philadelphia is one of 48 counties in the U.S. with the highest number of new HIV diagnoses with significant differences between community populations.

    In early 2019, the federal government announced the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative with aims to decrease new HIV diagnoses by 75% by 2025 and by 90% by 2030. Through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the City of Philadelphia received funding for a one-year process to develop a local EHE plan.

    This interactive presentation will present the local draft plan to end the HIV epidemic specific to the needs of Philadelphia. Additionally, this presentation will share the development and approach of sustained engagement led by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to promote community-centered innovation and transform a mature health delivery system to address the local HIV epidemic. Future directions and implications for HIV services, including prevention, treatment, and educational programming will also be discussed.


    • Present the Philadelphia Ending the HIV Epidemic draft plan
    • Describe the local planning process by Philadelphia Department of Public Health
    • Invite community participation for feedback on the proposed plan


    Javontae Williams, MPH
    Javontae Williams, MPH

    Javontae Williams, MPH

    Javontae Lee Williams is planning coordinator for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. He also serves as adjunct faculty at Widener University in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies. For more than 15 years he worked as a nurse in sub-acute environments caring for seniors. He attended Temple University and earned a Master’s in Public Health from West Chester University.


    Coleman Terrell

    Director, AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, Staff from AACO

  • From Bots to Jokes: Is there a place for HIV prevention on Twitter?

    June 3, 2020
    Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Adolescents and young adults (AYA) account for over 20% of new HIV infections in the US, with the majority of new cases among males. Social media is a dominant force in the lives of young men and represents an important, source of information and discussion regarding HIV risk and prevention. Despite this, little is known about the content of online conversations about HIV among AYA men. To fill this gap, our study investigates online discourse about HIV through a rigorous qualitative analysis of popular HIV-related tweets by young men in the U.S. This discourse is of outmost importance now during the COVID-19 outbreak given the strong reliance on social media interactions during quarantine. 


    1. The presentation will illuminate the different categories of tweets young adolescents encounter on social media.
    2. The larger themes and their effects on teens will also be discussed.
    3. Finally, we will share the weaponization of public health in the form of automated bots.


    Natalia  Roszkowska

    CHOP/ University Of Pennsylvania/ Princeton University

    Natalia graduated from Princeton University in 2020 with honors. Her degree in Evolutionary Biology was supplemented with a minor in Global Health. Thanks to her classes on social determinants of health, Natalia decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health in combination with her MD. This fall she will be starting both of her degrees jointly at Feinberg School of Medicine-Northwestern University.

  • Patient empowerment as consumers of sexual health care.

    June 3, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Open dialogue regarding sexual practices and sexual health leads to better health outcomes and higher rates of satisfaction between patients and their medical providers. These conversations are an essential component to stopping the spread of HIV and STIs, as well as reducing the stigma felt by the LGBTQIA, and other marginalized communities. The objective of this workshop is to provide individuals with strategies for assessing their doctor’s ease and competence in treating their sexual health. Additionally, it will increase participants’ comfort in discussing these needs with their medical providers.  The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has added an additional layer of complexity, as some patients may find it easier to discuss these issues via telehealth, while others will find it more difficult.  This complexity will be dissected during the presentation.  The workshop aims to empower patients as consumers of their own healthcare, encouraging them to seek competent care that will effectively address their sexual health needs. Participants will engage in a group activity designed to increase comfort in discussing these topics.


    1. Participants will learn strategies for assessing their medical providers sexual health screening, preventative, and treatment practices.
    2. Participants will feel competent at assessing if their medical providers are equipped to comfortably and appropriately address their sexual health needs.
    3. Participants will practice using sexual language to communicate and asking questions about sexual health and their own health needs.


    Dana Lehman Psy.D.

    AIDS Care Group

    In addition to providing individual, couples and family therapy, Dr. Lehman serves on ACG’s LGBT+ Advisory council.  She has an expertise in health-oriented psychology and particularly enjoys treating people struggling with managing chronic health conditions, trauma, eating disorders, and compulsive sexual behavior.  In addition to her work at ACG she maintains a private practice in Philadelphia and lectures frequently at local universities. Dr. Lehman believes that a strong therapeutic relationship empowers people by giving them the support and skills necessary to help them reach their goals and live a life which they find meaningful and fulfilling.



    Renn Kinnear Psy.D., M.Ed.

    Dr. Kinnear provides individual therapy for addictions treatment here at CIM. Dr. Kinnear has spent her training years specializing in working with transgender individuals, and folks of varied sexual orientation. She runs LGBTQ+ specific recovery groups and participates as a member of the LGBTQ+ advisory council committed to bringing competent care to Delaware County. Dr. Kinnear feels that a relationship of respect, authenticity and positive regard is the cornerstone of good therapy. She believes that with someone in your corner, you can drop shame and build the confidence to live a full and genuine life.

    AIDS Care Group

  • Why is the Rona doing the most, especially with the Black community? Let’s discuss the facts and what we can do moving forward.

    June 4, 2020
    Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


    • COVID19 – Where are we now?: The facts and implications of COVID19 on the Black community
    • Ways to combat the social health determinants as it pertains to some members of the Black community
    • The keys to choosing and fostering a healthy and effective doctor/patient relationship
    • Ways we can maintain hope during this challenging time


    Dr. Tamara Johnson, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Johnson is a native of the Upstate in South Carolina. She is a board certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  She is also a certified lactation counselor. After completing her undergraduate education at Duke University, she moved to Philadelphia where she worked with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Autism as a research coordinator. She returned to South Carolina where she received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed her pediatric residency and chief residency at Greenville Health System.  In 2019, Dr. Johnson completed the Primary Care Training and Enhancement Fellowship through a collaborative effort with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Edward Via College of Medicine (VCOM)-Carolinas Campus.

    Dr. Johnson is currently practicing in Spartanburg, SC as a pediatrician.  Her interests include breastfeeding, newborn care, well child care, asthma, ADHD and patient education/community outreach.


    Dr. Vedrine

    Dr. Dominique Vedrine holds a masters degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from University of San Diego and has a PhD. in Couple & Family Therapy from Drexel University. Dr. Vedrine presently teaches undergraduate and graduate classes, respectively at USC Upstate and Converse college. Specifically, teaching courses in family psychology; developing family resilience; rethinking cultural competency and counseling the Black family. Her research interests include promoting resiliency in individuals and family systems; confronting and healing the wounds of systematic oppression in our society and understanding the concept of intersectionality.

    She is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the state of SC. She is also a member of the Speaking Down Barriers Squad wherein she serves as a facilitator for community gatherings and trainings. As a facilitator, she co-facilitate transformative dialogues & workshops in communities, organizations and institutions across the state of South Carolina and bordering states. Along with the speaking down Barriers team, she facilitates monthly dialogues that incorporate the power of story, spoken word poetry, and mindful, brave group facilitation, for the purpose of working together to create healing space across human difference set in the framework of anti-racism and social justice.

    Dr. Vedrine is originally from Brooklyn, New York and lives in Simpsonville, SC with her mother and three children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, painting, shopping and her favorite hobby of all, eating delicious foods.

  • Making Your Wishes Known: A Guide to Care Planning

    June 5, 2020
    Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Many people living with HIV have lost significant portions of their support networks over the years, leaving us with fewer options for who will care for us as we grow older. We may at some point be faced with the question of “Who will take care of me?” in a time of crisis.Being proactive in planning for our care ensures that our wishes are known and respected. Advance care planning includes legal documents that define the types of care we wish to receive and identify the people who will be responsible for making decisions for us when we can no longer do so ourselves. Care planning also includes thinking about how we want to live our lives, such as where we want to receive care, what we want our providers to know about us, what brings us comfort, and who the important people are in our lives. Developing a Care Plan allows us to lay out our preferences and clearly communicate our priorities to any professionals who will provide us with care. This Webinar will provide an overview of the components of advance care planning and share resources to help individuals to begin the process. Participants will have the opportunity to begin developing parts of their personalized Care Plans.


    1. Participants will learn the components of advance care planning and the personal decisions that are involved
    2. Participants will learn about advance directives and powers of attorney, and understand the role that these legal documents play in healthcare


    Keith Carter

    is long-time community activist. He serves as a member of the LGBT Elder Initiative’s HIV & Aging Community Advisory Committee, a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Penn CFAR, and a member of the HIV Integrated Planning Council.


    David Griffith

    is the Director of Programs & Outreach for the LGBT Elder Initiative, a Philadelphia-based non-profit dedicated to supporting LGBT individuals as they age. In this role, he works with the LGBTEI’s HIV & Aging Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to produce an annual program series on HIV & Aging. He holds a Master of Science in Social Policy and a Master of Social Work, both from the University of Pennsylvania.






    John Liantonio, MD, MBA

    is a Geriatrics and Palliative Care Physician who practices on both the inpatient and outpatient setting at Jefferson University Hospital. He is the Director of Jefferson’s Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship as well as the Inpatient Palliative Care Consult Service. Dr. Liantonio is board certified in Family Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He has a unique interest in how to improve the aging process for the LGBT community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the LGBT Elder Initiative.

  • Moving the Needle on HIV Prevention with Behavioral Economics

    June 5, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Some barriers to HIV prevention are behavioral (e.g. someone can’t incorporate PrEP use into daily routine), while others are structural (e.g. health services are simply not available). We are three graduate students interested in HIV prevention, hoping to share insights we learned about how behavioral economics (BE) can be used to mitigate some of these behavioral barriers. BE is a multidisciplinary field that suggests humans act in predictably irrational ways. It then tries to use that irrationality to design more effective interventions. For example, one simple way BE has helped people physically distance during the Coronavirus pandemic is through markings at stores that remind people to stand 6 feet apart. In the workshop, we will introduce the BE framework, give examples of how BE has been used to prevent the spread of HIV, and brainstorm how participants may have already, intentionally or unintentionally, incorporated behavioral economic strategies into their practices/daily routines. These BE tools may be especially important for people who take PrEP or ART right now, as COVID-19 changes people’s daily routines and their perception of HIV risk.


    1. Introduce the concept of behavioral economics to those interested in or working in the field of HIV prevention
    2. Learn how behavioral economics strategies have been beneficial and where they have fallen short, with respect to HIV prevention
    3. Discuss how participants may have already, intentionally or unintentionally, incorporated behavioral economic strategies into their practices/daily routines, in an attempt to meet HIV prevention goals
    4. Introduce a toolbox with behavioral economics techniques that PLWHA, those at risk for HIV, and/or providers can implement in their daily lives, partly based on a project we completed to design behavioral economics interventions to increase PrEP adherence


    Mary Andrews

    Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

    Mary E. Andrews is a doctoral student studying health communication at the Annenberg School for Communication. She uses neuroscience, behavioral, and other communication research to study how health related messages and social networks influence health behavior at the individual, group, and population level. Andrews is particularly interested in studying how commutation interventions can be used to reduce health disparities.



    Deborah Cousins, MSPH, PMP

    Deborah Cousins, MSPH, PMP, supports projects under the direction of Dr. Amol Navathe. Deborah has a Masters of Science in Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Deborah previously worked for Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. as a Project Manager/Programming Manager, providing project management and SAS programming support to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.






    Daniel Resnick

    University of Pennsylvania

    Dan is a fourth year medical student taking a year out to complete a master of science in health policy as a David A. Asch Medical Student Scholar in Health Services Research. He hails from Massachusetts and received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tufts University. Dan worked at a small foreign policy think tank in Washington for two years, then transition into medicine by completing Bryn Mawr’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program.

    Dan is very interested in integrating his future clinical work with both health services research and policy advocacy, namely in the areas of disease prevention and reducing health care disparities. His research thus far has focused on barriers and facilitators for preventing HIV, and his research was presented at the 2019 National HIV Prevention Conference. He aims to work on creative PrEP implementation projects as part of the MSHP program.

  • A 2020 Vision – It’s Time to SEE Us

    June 8, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Without equity in our work, we will always have a paradigm of the have and have nots. I have the information, I have the key to your liberation, you must listen to me because I know best. Louis Fonseca of Advocates of Youth has been quoted to say that “If you convince someone to do something – you have only convinced them. That means someone else can convince them as well”. Covid – 19 has been a glaring example of the necessity of mutual aid, community voice, and transformative healing in our communities. The historic context of these practices and current implementation all live in the people.  We know now more than ever that we must activate a cultural change in health services that removes the barriers to ownership of your health. Positioning leaders in the work who represent the population that they are servicing is a strong and effective first step that can lead to a wellness ecosystem that can be a route to individual liberation.


    1. Assess the practices in which they uplift system impacted people to leadership in their work
    2. Develop a service provider/client relationship based on equity
    3. Define the ways an organization can amplify the voices of those who ate the most impacted


    Dominique Morgan, BS

    Black & Pink, Inc.

    Dominique Morgan is an award-winning artist, activist, and speaker. As the Executive Director of Black and Pink, the largest prison abolitionist organization in the United States, Mx. Morgan works daily to dismantle systems that perpetuate violence on LGBTQ/GNC people and individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Partnering their lived experience of incarceration as a youth (which included 18 months in solitary confinement), a decade of change-making artistry, advocacy, and an extensive background in public health, Dominique continues to work in spaces of sex education, radical self-care, and youth development with intentions of dismantling the prison industrial complex and the impact it has on our community. Morgan is an NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient and a Young, Black, and Influential Award recipient for Advocacy. In addition to completing their capstone project for studies in the Georgetown University – System Involved LGBTQ Youth Scholar Program, Mx. Morgan is a 2019- 2020 National Juvenile Justice Network Youth Leadership Fellow, 2020 Martin Luther King “Living The Dream” Award Recipient and 2020 JM Kaplan Innovation Prize Recipient.


    Tommy Young-Dennis

    Nebraska AIDS Project

    Tommy Young-Dennis, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is a gay Black man,

    LGBTQ+ advocate, HIV activist and educator. After being diagnosed as HIV+ in 2010, Tommy turned his devastation into action. Within three months of his diagnosis, he founded an HIV+ support group for young adults, began volunteering at Nebraska AIDS Project, and dedicated his time to supporting and educating others living with the disease. In 2017, Tommy joined the Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP)full-time as their Prevention and Outreach Specialist, where he does onsite testing, Linkage to Care, PrEP Navigation and focuses on providing resources and education to the Black GBM community (Men who have sex with men), a population disproportionately affected by HIV.



    Darryl Brown Jr.

    Pastor Darryl Brown, Jr. is the Founding/Senior Pastor of Kingdom Builders Christian Center of Omaha, NE. As an author, motivational speaker, health educator, and spiritual life coach and teacher, his passion is to see people walk into the best version of themselves. Brown’s most recent work, I’m Positive, I Forgive You (How I Forgave the Man That Gave Me HIV) reveals how he navigated his shocking HIV diagnosis and after four years, made the decision to forgive.

    Engaging in sexual health work via his role at Charles Drew Health Center helped affirm Pastor Brown’s heart for some of the most marginalized leading to his work with Black & Pink nationally as well as his church’s Homeless Feeding Outreach Program locally.

  • HealthySexual

    June 9, 2020
    Time: 1:30 PM

    This webinar is to provide information on HIV prevention and treatment across the continuum. Additionally, this session will cover STI data and transmission modes, sexual networks, testing option, HIV/STI prevention modalities, and the importance of treatment as prevention. Lastly, this session will provide participants with tools and resources to prompt conversations around HIV/STI treatment and prevention for either providers or persons living with/at-risk for HIV.


    • Raise awareness of data and risk transmission for HIV/STI.
    • Elevate prevention modalities for appropriate persons.
    • Reinforce treatment and the importance of reaching and maintaining an Undetectable viral load.


    Blake A. Rowley, MPH

    Blake A. Rowley, MPH is a Community Liaison for Gilead Sciences, Inc., covering the Philadelphia/Delaware geography. The Gilead Community Liaison offers a variety of branded and unbranded trainings and program opportunities, as well as myriad resources for patients and healthcare providers, in an effort optimize healthcare systems and increase health outcomes across the HIV continuum of care. For more information, please contact Blake A. Rowley can be reached at

  • Destigmatizing Sex Work: Building a Bridge Between Positive Sex Work and HIV Prevention

    June 10, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    Sex workers have been consistently viewed as social pariah in our communities. This perpetuates the social, economic, and health detriments experienced by sex workers. They are often stigmatized, marginalized and criminalized by the societies in which they live. In various ways, these factors contribute to their vulnerability to HIV, especially for those who identify within LGBTQ+ communities. This workshop will aim to de-stigmatize the nature of positive sex work while looking to expand our understanding of how sex work can aptly lend itself to avenues of HIV education and prevention. In addition, it will provide insight into the world of sex work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


    1. Openly discuss the impact that HIV has on the sex worker population and specifically LGBTQ+ sex workers
    2. Explore the nuances of how social, economic, and health detriments experienced by sex workers leads to increased risk of HIV
    3. Examine the positive impact decriminalizing sex work may have on reducing new HIV infections
    4. Discuss tangible steps to prevent HIV transmission among sex workers
    5. Understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on sex workers


    Dylan Torrez AAS in Biology

    Colours Organization

    Dylan L. Torrez, a native of New York City, relocated to Philadelphia in 2015 to pursue an education and career in Public Health. He attended Community College of Philadelphia and graduated in 2018 with an AAS in biology. Dylan serves as a positive influence on the LGBTQ+ community by being able to provide empathetic support to those who need it. He is a transparent person who others feel comfortable around. Dylan has cultivated experience being as a prevention specialist for the last five years and has a future goal of establishing his own non-profit. He has a passion for delegating time to others, advocating for undeserved communities and assisting others to feel comfortable in their sexual identity. Within his role at COLOURS, he helps the community at large with knowing their status and how to navigate care and feel comfortable asking for resources.


    Tatyana Woodard

    Co-President, Philadelphia Ballroom Alliance

    Tatyana Woodard is one of the leaders of this generation of activism moving with intent and purpose.  It was in 2010 when she started her first house, Xistence, that her career in activism took flight within the Philadelphia Ballroom Community. Tatyana joined the Mazzoni Center’s Trans* Wellness Project (TWP) as an outreach worker in 2014 and by the following year she was promoted to a Prevention Specialist on the Prevention Services Department’s Testing and Counseling team. After leaving Mazzoni to pursue other career options Woodard found herself back at the agency in a new capacity.  In 2018, she re-joined as the Community Health Engagement Coordinator for the Mazzoni Center’s OUR Way Program, the only program at the nonprofit organization that is operated by trans people with services especially designated for the Trans community. Tatyana Woodard currently serves as the Co-President of the Philadelphia Ballroom Alliance as well as sitting on The DVLF Board of Directors while also serving on several community advisory boards throughout the city of Philadelphia advocating for marginalized communities who can’t advocate for themselves.


    Ja’Nae Darlene Tyler

    Public Health Program Administrator – PA Department of Health, Division of HIV-Prevention

    Ja’Nae Darlene Tyler is a 32-year-old Trans* Woman of Color. At the tender age of 15 years old, Ja’Nae, lost her mother to what she later found was due to “Complications of HIV”. Determined to turn her tragedy to triumph, Ja’Nae set out to educate herself on HIV. In 2010 Ja’Nae landed her first job in HIV prevention as a HIV test counselor. With a demonstrated commitment to both Health and Trans* equality and equity, Ja’Nae, is now an award-winning HIV Prevention Specialist and Activist, Public Health Champion and Trans* Advocate. Working full-time as a Public Health Program Administrator for the Pennsylvania Department of Health- Division of HIV- Prevention, Ja’Nae currently holds several additional titles including being Board Co-chair for the LGBT Center of Central PA, Board Member for Pennsylvania Youth Congress, Board Member for The Doll House Project, kiki- House/ Ballroom leader and mother, and Former Commissioner on Philadelphia’s commission on LGBT Affairs under Major Jim Kenny.


    Brittni Jean Thomas


    H.U.S.T.L.E.R.S (Helping Unite Sex Workers Through Love, Education, Resource Exchange, and Safety Planning)

    Brittni is a Trans Activist and Founder of H.U.S..T.L.E.R.S.(Helping Unite Sex Workers Through Love, Education, Resource Exchange, and Safety Planning), an online community for people who rely on sex work for survival to exchange resources, safety plan, network, educate, uplift, and support each other.  Brittni is dedicated to HIV prevention, treatment, and education within her community on Chicago’s Southside and is passionate about advocating for those most marginalized. Brittni has recently launched an online series geared toward educating, empowering, and safety planning with those that are currently relying on sex work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Please, Put on Your Oxygen Mask Before Assisting Others

    June 10, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Those working in non-profit have been more stressed and on the brink of burn out more than ever, particularly while simultaneously dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar is to help the health care worker, therapist and all essential workers of the non-profit HIV field learn how to take care of their emotional and physical needs so they continue taking care of the needs of their clients and patients. Through learning about the impact of burn out as well as the benefits of self-care, this webinar will help to minimize the feelings of burn out and teach that we must all take care of ourselves before we can help others.


    1. Provide attendees with the knowledge and ability to recognize signs of burn out in themselves
    2. Illuminate why self care is vital for caregivers and healthcare workers and how to effectively incorporate self care into their lives
    3. Teach health care staff how to take care of themselves in order to be able to thrive at work and through the COVID-19 pandemic


    Lupe Diaz BS

    AIDS Care Group

    Lupe Diaz has worked in the HIV field for the last 20 years. She began working with data management and moved on to being the director of a drop-in center focusing on feeding the homeless and HIV testing. Recently she worked in the mental health department at AIDS Care Group. There she used her bachelors degree in psychology along with many years of her own personal therapy to help others. Currently she is working as a Goodwill Ambassador and as the co-chair for the HIV Integrative Planning Council of Philadelphia




    Julia Hodgson, PsyD, MEd

    Dr. Julia Hodgson is a licensed psychologist and educator. She received her doctorate from the Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology and a Master’s of Education from the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University; she is additionally Board Certified in Biofeedback.  She currently works as a supervising psychologist and the Director of Psychology Internship Program at AIDS Care Group in Sharon Hill, PA. Her career has focused on working with underserved and vulnerable populations through clinical work, published writing, and providing training and education to professionals, community members, and students. Most notably, Dr. Hodgson recently co-authored a text entitled “Integrative Medicine for Vulnerable Populations: A Clinical Guide for Working with Chronic and Comorbid Medical Disease, Mental Illness, and Addiction.”

  • Positive coping strategies during COVID-19 for Youth

    June 11, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM

    To explain to youths some coping strategy they can utilize to manage stressful situations especially during COVID. The presentation will focus on strategies such as how to maintain positive thinking, and identifying social support and coping with the unexpected.


    To help youths manage and understand stress during this unexpected crisis.


    Rashidat O. Gbadegesin

    Social Service Operations Manager

    I am Rashidat O. Gbadegesin, a Nigerian-American woman and first of 4 children. I am a Licensed Social Worker who is passionate about program development, policy reform and promoting mental health wellness for individuals. I have worked as a clinician, consultant, administrator, program coordinator in multiple settings: university, outpatient psychiatry, public health agency, pediatric hospital, primary care clinic, residential facilities and HIV clinic. I earned a B.A. in Social Work from Salisbury University, B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and received a Master of Science degree in Advanced Clinical Social Work with a concentration in Health, Mental Health and disabilities from Columbia University. I am currently employed at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore, MD. I enjoy shopping, traveling, writing and spending time with friends and family. I am a licensed cosmetologist who enjoys and appreciate the art of beautifying women. I credit my success to God, smart & hard work and having great mentors that surrounds me. I believe young people should embrace internal motivation because you are your first cheerleader.

    This content is prerecorded and will be streamed or posted on the below platforms


  • Healthcare and Human Dignity

    June 12, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    This webinar focuses on the individual and structural biases that affect the American healthcare system which have serious emotional and physical consequences that all too often go unseen. These biases are often rooted in power, class, racial, gender or sexual orientation prejudices, and as a result, the injured parties usually lack the resources needed to protect themselves. In Healthcare and Human Dignity by Frank M. McClellan, individual worth, equality, and autonomy emerge as the dominant values at stake in encounters with doctors, nurses, hospitals, and drug companies. Although the public is aware of legal battles over autonomy and dignity in the context of death, the everyday patient’s need for dignity has received scant attention. Thus, in this webinar law professor Frank McClellan, FIGHT Pediatrics Medical Director–Dr. Mario Cruz and FIGHT in-house counsel Deone Powell, Esquire will explore a collection of cases and individual experiences that bring these stories to life and establish beyond doubt that human dignity is of utmost priority in the everyday process of healthcare decision making.

    *1.5 credits Continuing Legal Education credits are pending for this session.


    1. At the conclusion of this webinar, the attendee will be able to identify the individual and structural biases that impact the healthcare system and ways that FIGHT aims to combat them.
    2. At the conclusion of this webinar, the attendee will have a general understanding of how the courts define “human dignity” and ways in which the notion is reinforced by way of legal case law and through sound healthcare protocols.
    3. At the conclusion of this webinar, the attendee will be able to recognize ways in which principles of human dignity inform the FIGHT healthcare delivery model.


    D. Deone Powell

    Since 2017, Deone has served as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at Philadelphia FIGHT. As the inaugural GC/CLO, he is equal parts advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors, as well as, a cross-functional member of the leadership team.  His job is to identify enterprise risks and opportunities, and the frameworks that govern them in order to help senior stakeholders arrive at actionable, mission-driven conclusions. He is fascinated by true-crimes and is a member of an online community of amateur cold case crime-solver. Deone is  has written extensively on issues of legal ethics and diversity in the law.  He is a 2007 graduate of Temple Law and was a trial lawyer prior to his tenure at FIGHT.


    Frank M. McClellan

    Frank M. McClellan is Professor Emeritus at Temple Law and a founding Co‐Director of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice.  He has taught courses on bioethics, medical malpractice, law and medicine, and torts. In addition to his academic duties, McClellan has been committed to recognizing and educating others to recognize the health disparities that exist for low income people in all communities and to addressing the social determinants to health that prey on these people due to poverty. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and has long supported Philadelphia FIGHT through board service and collaboration.


    Mario Cruz, MD

    Medical Leadership, Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center
    Medical Director

    Dr. Cruz is regarded as one of the best pediatricians in Philadelphia. A board certified pediatrician, Dr. Cruz joined Philadelphia FIGHT as the Medical Director for our Pediatric and Adolescent Health Centerin 2017. He completed his undergraduate training in Biology and Psychology from Union College, his medical school training at Albany Medical College, his residency training at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and his Chief Residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. He joined Philadelphia FIGHT Pediatrics after 9 years as an academic pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where he led the medical training program as an Associate Residency Program Director. He also has experience working in private practice through Advocare.

    Currently, Dr. Cruz is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, has additional training in Child Abuse Pediatrics through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Child Abuse Preceptorship and has completed formal training in Educational Scholarship through the Academic Pediatric Association’s Educational Scholars Program.

    Dr. Cruz has published and presented in the fields of curriculum development, mentorship, quality improvement and violence prevention. He was a key member of the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children HIV Screening Work Group that increased the rate of routine adolescent HIV screening in the primary care clinic from less than 5% to greater than 95%. In addition he has educated hundreds of health care professionals, regionally and nationally, on the practical implementation of Intimate Partner Violence screening.

    Dr. Cruz has received many awards for his leadership skills, humanistic traits, innovation and community service efforts. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching as well as the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award from Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2017 Dr. Cruz received the Community Advocate Award from the Lutheran Settlement House for his efforts to prevent childhood exposure to domestic violence. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

    Dr. Cruz is a spanish-speaking pediatrician who enjoys working with children of all ages and has special expertise in managing families exposed to emotional trauma. Currently, Mario resides in Philadelphia with his wife (Patti) and two children (Dominic and Felix).

  • Just4Us: Developing a Women-Focused PrEP Intervention for HIV Prevention

    June 12, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Presenting a NIH funded research study protocol tile:

    Developing a Women-Focused PrEP Intervention for HIV Prevention: Just4Us

    The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate an intervention to promote uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among cisgender women eligible for PrEP in two large metropolitan areas  (New York city & Philadelphia) with local HIV rates that greatly exceed the national average but with different PrEP public policy and access landscapes.


    This study was implemented in three phases:

    1. Phase 1: In-depth interviews and surveys to identify theory-guided behavioral predictors, PrEP access barriers and relevant contextual factors. This work will be used for tailoring to the population and identify predictors to target in the intervention and to develop measures to evaluate impact.
    2. Phase 2: Intervention modules will be created including interactive and engaging activities (games, role plays, short video clips, etc.) that focus on specific theory-based components (e.g., knowledge, values clarification, skill building, coping support).
    3. Phase 3: Pilot randomized trial to assess feasibility and acceptability.


    1. The presentation will describe the eligibility criteria for enrollment, recruitment strategies and preliminary data specific to key outcomes from each phase of the study
    2. Presenter will facilitate a discussion focused on lessons learned regarding educating cisgender women about PrEP and point of contact to encourage PrEP initiation.


    Annet Davis RN, MSW

    University of Pennsylvania

    Annet Davis, RN, MSW has served as the Project Director as well as the, Coordinator for Community Engagement: Educator, Recruitment and Retention Specialist for multiple research projects at the University of Pennsylvania, HIV Prevention Research Division and the School of Nursing.  Currently, Annet also is Coordinator for the UPenn HIV Clinical Trials Unit Community Advisory Board and Project Director for the research project: Developing a Women-Focused PrEP Intervention for HIV Prevention at the School of Nursing.  She is also a member of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Institutional Review Board at the University of Pennsylvania.  Annet brings to her work a vast experience with community outreach and engagement.


    For the past 25 plus years she has worked in HIV prevention research at the University of Pennsylvania.  Ms. Davis has incorporated this vast experience in nursing, health education, primary prevention, risk reduction methodology, and social work advocacy skills into her work as a researcher in non-traditional settings with youth, people using drugs and those engaging in risky sexual practices.

  • Evaluating pharmacist preparedness to administer long acting injectable antiretroviral treatments in the community pharmacy setting

    June 15, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    The Integrase strand transfer inhibitor cabotegravir (CAB) and the non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) rilpivirine (RPV) are being coformulated as a long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy (LAI-ART) option, which can be administered intramuscularly in the gluteus medius every 4 weeks. LAI-ART would replace a patient’s oral antiretroviral therapy (ART), decreasing pill burden and increasing the possibility of improved medication adherence. Medication adherence is critical for patients living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to suppress the viral load and preserve immune function.The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the preparedness of pharmacists, who have experience administering intramuscular (IM) treatment, to inject LAI-ART in the community pharmacy setting. The secondary objective is to identify preferred training methods for these pharmacists. As a result a total of 127 survey responses were evaluated for this research. 57.3% of pharmacists felt prepared to administer LAI-ART in the community setting. Patient care pharmacists and residents felt more prepared to administer LAI-ART compared to pharmacy managers and staff pharmacists (P-value = 0.047). 30.3% of pharmacists strongly disagreed to being adequately trained to administer IM ventrogluteal (VG) injections. 97.1 % of pharmacists prefer either live sessions or written training.


    • Define Integrase strand transfer inhibitor cabotegravir (CAB) and the non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) rilpivirine (RPV)
    • Increase pharmacist preparedness to administer long acting injectable antiretroviral treatments in the community pharmacy setting
    • Communicate, in relatable language, results of the study. 



    Disha Soni, PharmD

    PGY-1 Community-Based Pharmacy Resident

    Dr. Disha Soni is a PGY-1 community based pharmacy resident at Acme Pharmacy and adjunct faculty at Temple University School of Pharmacy. She has received her Doctor of Pharmacy and minor in Pharmaceutical Healthcare and Business from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 2019.  She is actively involved in the implementation and enhancement of clinical services including immunizations, medication therapy management services, disease state management and medication administration programs. She has conducted her research in evaluating pharmacist preparedness in administering long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy in the community setting.



  • Impact of the Removal of Hepatitis C (HCV) Treatment Restrictions on Progression through the HCV Care Continuum

    June 15, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    In January 2018, Pennsylvania Medicaid removed disease severity criteria from prior authorization criteria for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. To assess the impact of this change, we compared the rates of progression through the HCV care cascade during the year prior and after January 1, 2018 in patients treated in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Philadelphia, PA. We also compared the progression through the cascade in those identified through a community-based testing (CBT) program to those tested in the FQHC.Subjects included all HCV RNA positive adults tested between 1/1/2017 and 12/31/2018 by our CBT program and navigated to the FQHC (Group 1) and tested within the FQHC (Group 2). Each group was evaluated for progression through the HCV care continuum during two time periods, 1/1/2017-12/31/2017 and 1/1/2018-12/31/201. We compared rates of insurance approval and treatment initiation for Groups 1 and 2 using Chi square testing and compared the mean time to each milestone using an unpaired t-test.The removal of the PAM disease severity restrictions resulted in an increase in treatment approval and treatment initiation rates, particularly significant in subjects tested for HCV in community settings (Figure 1). In addition, there was a significant decrease in time to treatment initiation among all subjects diagnosed with chronic HCV and a significate decrease in time to initial HCV visit among subjects tested in the community after removal of restrictions. Despite these decreases in time to achieving critical milestones, HCV treatment linkage rates among patients navigated from the community continue to be lower than patients tested within the FQHC. These ongoing delays to care suggest that test and treat models should be developed and evaluated.


    Alexandra Ripkin

    Alexandra Ripkin has been with Philadelphia FIGHT since 2016. She currently works as Project Coordinator with C a Difference, FIGHT’s comprehensive hepatitis C (HCV) testing and linkage-to-care program. She coordinates HCV treatment for FIGHT patients across clinical settings, manages data for daily operations and research dissemination, and collaborates on harm reduction projects throughout FIGHT programs. Alexandra has also previously assisted with the establishment of the satellite primary care clinic at Broad Street Ministry and served as Program Manager of Clínica Bienestar, the HIV primary care clinic within Prevention Point Philadelphia. Alexandra graduated from Temple University with duel Master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work.

  • LGBT+ Supreme Court Cases

    June 16, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM

    Rights for the LGBT+ community can feel like they’ve been around forever. This isn’t the case, though. The fight for equity has been going on for decades, even in the Supreme Court. From the 1950s to current day, the Supreme Court has heard many cases about the LGBT+ community. This presentation outlines how the Supreme Court works and how it has built the foundation for the rights of LGBT+ citizens nationwide.


    To inform others about the details and outcomes of LGBT+ Supreme Court cases, along with discussing what these outcomes mean for rights that people have today.


    Miles S.

    CHOP Youth Community Advisory Board Member

    I’m Miles S. I’ve been interested in law for many years now, and attend a technical high school for Law. I’ve also helped run our school’s Gay Straight Alliance for 3 years too. I believe that informing others of LGBT+ rights and the history behind them is important. It can be hard to understand the intricacies of some cases so I’m glad to be able to get to communicate the importance of them in an interesting way.

  • FIGHT Research Partnership: The BEAT – HIV Collaboratory

    June 17, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    Philadelphia is a major HIV cure research hub and home to several ongoing HIV cure research trials. What you may not know is that Philadelphia FIGHT is a long-standing supporter and partner in this research. This annual HIV Cure research update will showcase the history of research at FIGHT and highlight the importance of community-academic partnerships. It is developed with the community in mind to honor the unique partnership between Philadelphia FIGHT and the Wistar Institute and share what is new and exciting in Philadelphia cure-directed research. This workshop may also offer a unique and important voice – someone who has participated in an HIV cure trial.

    • Discuss the history of research conducted at FIGHT and the importance of community-academic partnerships to achieve the common goal of finding a cure for HIV within our lifetime
    • Review ongoing HIV Cure research being conducted at the Philadelphia FIGHT and The Wistar Institute
    • Understand why the search for a cure is important even with effective treatment
    • Gain insight from a recent cure-focused clinical trial research participant


    Dr. Karam MounzerKaram Mounzer, MD

    Philadelphia FIGHT

    Dr. Mounzer is the Chief Medical Officer of Philadelphia FIGHT.  His clinical expertise is in HIV, HCV, HBV, and STDs and other general infectious diseases and treatment of multi-drug resistance HIV virus.  Dr. Mounzer’s research expertise is in HIV/HCV drugs and treatment strategy development, and HIV and HCV immunopathogenesis and resistance to ARTs.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.  He received his medical training from Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon and completed his fellowship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.




    Linden Lalley-Chareczko, MA

    Philadelphia FIGHT

    Linden Lalley-Chareczko has worked in the Research Department of Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers for 5 years and currently serves as the department’s Program Director. Her work includes the implementation of pharmaceutical industry and government grant funded clinical trials as well as work on a novel assay to detect tenofovir in urine. Prior to employment at FIGHT, Linden worked as a Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania within the Behavioral Sleep Medicine division, publishing multiple papers on the relationships between the experience of violence and impaired sleep. Linden holds a Master’s degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology.



    Luis J. Montaner, D.V.M., M.Sc., D.Phil.

    Herbert Kean, M.D., Family Professor
    Director, HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory
    Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Leukocyte Biology
    The Wistar Institute

    Dr. Montaner has been engaged in HIV-1 immunopathogenesis work for over 20 years.  His research focuses on innate effectors, immune regulation of infection, activation measurements on ART, and translational human immunology-based studies. Dr. Montaner is an expert in directing multi-institutional and multi-investigator clinical studies with a basic research component and has served as the principal investigator and oversaw the completion of clinical research under team-lead clinical trials, including multiple trials across several institutions in Mexico, South Africa, Puerto Rico and US.  Dr. Montaner currently serves as Editor-In-Chief to the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.


    Kenneth M. Lynn, MBA, BS, RN

    Managing Director of Clinical Studies, HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory
    Infectious Diseases Liaison – The Wistar Institute / Philadelphia FIGHT

    Ken Lynn is a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area and works as a registered nurse within the University of Pennsylvania Perleman School of Medicine specializing in effective clinical trial management and community recruitment for HIV research studies. Ken received the designation as a Jonathan Lax Scholar in 1999 and used the accompanying  scholarship to further his education which ultimately led him to advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS over the past 20 years.   In addition to his primary role at the University of Pennsylvania,  Ken serves as the community research liaison for the Wistar Institute and Philadelphia FIGHT promoting education and increased community participation in important Philadelphia based HIV Curative research trials for the BEAT HIV Delaney Collaboratory.

  • Reaching and Recruiting Young Black and Latino MSM: Understanding effective social media campaigns for youth-focused research

    June 17, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Reaching sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents and young adults (AYA) via social media is crucial to the success of interventions in order to reach those who may not access services or be “out”. The PUSH Study (Providing Unique Support for Health) is a multi-arm HIV prevention study using motivational interviewing and an app to support SGM AYA of color assigned male at birth with medication adherence. Facebook and Instagram ads have yielded a significant number of enrolled participants. This poster will describe the most effective ads and methods for categorization and analysis. Over 16 months, the PUSH study interfaced with 239 AYA via social media outreach. 48 of those indicated their interest in the study, 32 completed screening, and 20 enrolled. The most successful ad campaign yielded six enrolled AYA. This lead ad features an affectionate sexual minority couple with the headline “Be proud! Be YOU. Tell the PUSH Study what pride month means to you.” The second most successful campaign produced three enrolled participants. This lead ad features a colorful photo of a duo holding cell phones, with one draped in the pride flag. The third most successful campaign produced two enrolled participants. This lead ad features another colorful photo of an affectionate sexual minority couple. SGM AYA of color show preference for a social media ad featuring a photo of happy, representative couples, which empowers users to sign up for the study by leaving their contact information in a lead ad. Messaging via social media with potential participants either who leave contact information in the lead ad or who like the post proves effective for screening and enrolling AYA.


    • Provide attendees with the PUSH Study Findings
    • Discuss best practices in reaching sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents and young adults (AYA) via social media


    Marne Castillo, MEd, PhD

    Dr. Castillo is Clinical and Research Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Adolescent Initiative and the principal investigator for CHOP’s Adolescent Trials Unit, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health in addition to several other multi-site studies. From 2002 to 2017, she led the “Connect to Protect Project,” the Adolescent Trials Network community-based prevention research study focusing on community mobilization and HIV primary prevention.

    Dr. Castillo’s work focuses on adolescent health promotion and community engagement in research, especially with the House and Ball and Kiki communities. She also has broader interests around social determinants of health, with a special interest in trauma and improving outcomes for marginalized adolescents. In 2015, Dr. Castillo received the Center for AIDS Research Red Ribbon award recognizing her work on behalf of adolescents in the field HIV prevention research in Philadelphia. She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including Philadelphia FIGHT and GALAEI. Dr. Castillo received her PhD in public health and her master’s degree in education from Temple University.


    Anderson Schlupp, MS

    Anderson started with the Adolescent Initiative at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since 2012. During his time at CHOP he has enjoyed collaborating with research participants, working alongside a stellar multidisciplinary team, fostering relationships with community agencies, and managing data. His passion lies in working with members from marginalized communities, specifically the LGBTQ community, to empower them during their health journeys. Anderson graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Drexel University and earned a Master of Science in 2019 Drexel as well.


  • PSA: A Message to Teens and their Caregivers from a Pediatric Provider

    June 18, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM

    Often times, teens do not know how to advocate for their sexual health needs. Dr. Laguerre will provide important information on how to speak with a healthcare provider about sensitive issues, and what should be expected from a doctor during a medical visit.


    This content is prerecorded and will be streamed or posted on the below platforms


    1. Participants will gain a better understanding of the teen patient and provider relationship,
    2. Teens will be encouraged to become self-advocates for their healthcare.
    3. Useful information provided to youth and their caregivers on maintaining sexual health, and how to choose the right healthcare provider


    Dr. Roberta Laguerre-Frederique

    Dr. Roberta Laguerre-Frederique received her medical degree from the State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn. She then completed a pediatric residency training program at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Laguerre-Frederique continued to serve the Philadelphia community as a general pediatrician with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) at District Health Center #9, in Germantown for three years. In 2004, Dr. Laguerre-Frederique started caring for infants, children and adolescents affected by HIV disease as Clinical Director of the Dorothy Mann Center (DMC) for Pediatric & Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In 2013, Dr. Laguerre started her current role as the Director of Prevention and Outreach Services at the DMC. Dr. Laguerre is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine.

  • Impact of PrEP Education in Women Receiving Family Planning Services

    June 19, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    The Philadelphia Department of Health reports 23.8% of new HIV infections in 2018 were in persons assigned female sex at birth, higher than the national proportion of new infections in females(19%). Across both Philadelphia and the US, the majority of newly diagnosed females in 2018 identified as Black(58.4% and 59%, respectively) or Hispanic(21.7% and 16%, respectively). Despite these statistics, the CDC reports only 2.1% of eligible female patients received a prescription for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis(PrEP) in 2016, with Black patients overall being 6 times less likely to be prescribed PrEP than white peers. To address this discordance between HIV risk and PrEP uptake, the present study examined the impact of a brief PrEP education session on female patients receiving family planning services at a Federally Qualified Health Center(FQHC) serving adolescents/young adults in Center City, Philadelphia.

    Cisgender women ages 18-24 were prescreened using available electronic medical record data to confirm they were not already prescribed PrEP. Patients provided written informed consent prior to administration of pre-test/post-test surveys and PrEP education session. Knowledge of and attitudes toward PrEP(“PrEP acceptability”) were evaluated.

    95 participants(age range:18-24 years) were 10.5% Hispanic/Latinx, 60% Black/African American, and 33.7% non-heterosexual(gay, bisexual, etc.). PrEP knowledge increased significantly after the education session(p<0.000), most notably regarding PrEP use outside of known HIV serodiscordance(p=0.003), the need for continued HIV testing on PrEP(p<0.000), and PrEP’s clinical indication for women(p<0.000). PrEP acceptability increased from pre to post-test(p=0.004). 15% of participants accepted a PrEP prescription following the education session.
    Brief, structured PrEP education for cisgender women can have a significant impact on both knowledge and acceptability in the family planning setting.



    Emily Hiserodt

    Emily Hiserodt earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from Temple University in 2017.  She has published multiple papers and presented research across several fields including HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), sexual and reproductive health, and behavioral economics.  Currently, Emily is the Senior Research Coordinator for Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers where she aids in conducting industry sponsored, CFAR, NIH/NIMH, and small grant funded work focusing on therapeutic drug monitoring for HIV negative patients taking PrEP, optimizing HIV treatment, HIV reservoir mapping and reversal, and ciswomen’s knowledge and attitudes toward PrEP.

  • Linkage to Care Rates among Individuals Testing Positive for Chronic Hepatitis C Infection at Substance Use Treatment Centers

    June 19, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Injection drug use accounts for more than 50% of existing cases and more than 70% of incident cases of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in the United States. We have implemented HCV testing and linkage to care services at inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder programs. We aim to determine if individuals tested in these programs successfully engage in HCV care. Participants include all chronically HCV infected adults who were diagnosed via community-based point-of-care HCV antibody testing with reflexive blood draw for confirmatory PCR testing. Testing was offered at 13 substance use disorder treatment programs between 1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018, the one year time frame following the removal of Medicaid disease severity prior authorization criteria in Pennsylvania. We reviewed medical charts to determine clinic attendance at initial and follow up visits and treatment initiation. During the study period 1007 individuals were tested and 326 individuals were diagnosed with chronic HCV infection. Our results demonstrate that 53% of individuals who tested positive for chronic HCV in substance use disorder treatment programs were successfully linked to a first HCV evaluation, with a mean of 48 days between confirmatory test and evaluation appointment. 80% of patients who attended a second visit initiated treatment, with a mean of 103 days between confirmatory test and treatment initiation. Decreasing the time between HCV diagnosis and linkage to HCV care will likely lead to improved rates of evaluation and HCV treatment in patients identified in substance use disorder treatment programs. New strategies must be developed, evaluated, and implemented in order to achieve this goal.


    Alexandra Ripkin

    Alexandra Ripkin has been with Philadelphia FIGHT since 2016. She currently works as Project Coordinator with C a Difference, FIGHT’s comprehensive hepatitis C (HCV) testing and linkage-to-care program. She coordinates HCV treatment for FIGHT patients across clinical settings, manages data for daily operations and research dissemination, and collaborates on harm reduction projects throughout FIGHT programs. Alexandra has also previously assisted with the establishment of the satellite primary care clinic at Broad Street Ministry and served as Program Manager of Clínica Bienestar, the HIV primary care clinic within Prevention Point Philadelphia. Alexandra graduated from Temple University with duel Master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work.

  • Restriction Without a Cause: End the HIV and HBV Military Ban

    June 22, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    More than three decades have passed since the Dept. of Defense (DOD) adopted strict policies to prohibit enlistment, commissioning or participation in training or scholarship programs leadine to a commission.  Other policies impose restrictions on deployment and continued service of active or reserve personnel who test positive for HIV or hepatitis B (HBV).  In the intervening years, DOD failed to update the policies to reflect effective prevention and evidence-based monitoring and treatment that is now available thanks to medical and scientific advances.  Meanwhile, the outdated policies continue to:

    • Deny career and scholarship opportunities within an agency that has historically enabled immigrants to serve their adopted country, attain economic stability and move into the American middle class;
    • Inflict harm on recruits who undergo a physical and laboratory tests at Military Entrance Processing Stations and leave jobs and civilian lives to report to boot camp only to be diagnosed with HIV or HBV and find themselves without homes or jobs; and
    • Create anxiety for existing personnel who were not diagnosed at accession and live in limbo, knowing that their careers can be upended at any time by a new policy or even a change in wording of an existing policy.


    1. As with coronavirus, how critical it is to educate people who have no prior understanding of a disease that has not yet openly harmed them, but which can have long-term devastating impact on their health and the health of their families if they do not take preventive measures.
    2. As with coronavirus, the disparate impact of disease on communities with little or no prior access to healthcare.
    3. The impact of outdated DOD policy on individuals living with a treatable and preventable   disease that they do not understand.
    4. How to get involved with local, state, and national movements to address outdated policies.


    Kate Moraras, MPH

    Kate Moraras is the Deputy Director of Public Health at the Hepatitis B Foundation and Director of Hep B United, a national coalition dedicated to reducing the health disparities associated with hepatitis B. Kate manages strategic planning, capacity building, training, technical assistance, and grant programs for Hep B United. Previously, Kate served as Senior Advisor to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders where she led the Initiative’s health policy portfolio, community engagement, and communications strategies. For over 15 years, Kate has developed and implemented national policies and programs dedicated to addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health, with a focus on supporting community-based organizations working to increase access to care for medically underserved communities. Kate began her public health work at the American Diabetes Association focusing on racial and ethnic disparities and diabetes programs and policy. Kate received her MPH degree from the George Washington University.




    Catherine Freeland MPH

    Hepatitis B Foundation

    Catherine Freeland, MPH, received her Master of Public Health at East Tennessee State University with a concentration in community and behavioral health. Catherine is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Behavioral Health Science at Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health in Philadelphia, PA. She is also the Public Health Program Director at the Hepatitis B Foundation where she works on public health research and outreach activities throughout Greater Philadelphia. Her research is focused on reducing the negative impact of hepatitis B and liver cancer for vulnerable populations.  Catherine is a member of the Pennsylvania Viral Hepatitis Elimination Planning Committee, and the co-chair of the Treatment Access Working Group. She is also the secretary of the National Task Force of Hepatitis B and member of the American Public Health Association.


    Scott Schoettes, JD

    Lambda Legal

    Scott Schoettes, who lives openly with HIV, is Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal.  Scott litigates impact cases involving discriminatory actions based on a person’s HIV status and does amicus work on issues of import to people living with HIV, notably co-authoring two friend-of-the-court briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Affordable Care Act.  His policy portfolio includes work on HIV criminalization and the blood donation ban, and he served as co-chair of the Disparities Committee on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) from 2014 to 2017.  The group resignation from PACHA that Scott led in June 2017 received media attention across the globe and forced the Trump Administration to start paying more attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


    Nadine Shiroma

    BA, English Literature
    Graduate Certificate in Public Administration 

    Nadine Shiroma resides in Washington state and has also lived in Hawaii, New York City, Texas and Southern California. She retired from an administrative/systems development career to participate in progressive, community-based civic engagement and racial justice projects. When a competitive healthcare school accepted and months later denied enrollment to a naturalized immigrant based on the school’s interpretation of an outdated CDC guideline, Nadine coordinated action to challenge the undisclosed policy and convince the school to adopt and publish a new HBV policy.  She then worked with national advocates to address similar policies at schools across the country.  Now a volunteer policy advisor to the national Hepatitis B Foundation, Nadine has advocated since 2013 for the Dept. of Defense to reform its outdated HBV policies.  She also participates in initiatives to educate and make policymakers aware of the resources needed to eliminate HBV.

  • Pregnancy and HIV: More Support and Better Outcomes

    June 22, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    This workshop will highlight the importance of advocacy for reproductive justice and support for HIV+ women, gender non-conforming and trans people across the full spectrum of pregnancy. We will briefly review the research related to HIV and pregnancy, delivery and postpartum: transmission, treatment and outcomes. We will examine how systems of oppression and structural racism impact pregnancy and outcomes for those living with HIV and the unique challenges added by the current COVID19 pandemic. Participants will also learn ways to support those who are pregnant and living with HIV to have more reproductive freedom and better outcomes.


    1. Discuss relevant research related to HIV and pregnancy, delivery and postpartum: transmission, treatment and outcomes
    2. Describe how systems of oppression and structural racism impact pregnancy and outcomes for those living with HIV
    3. Discuss the unique challenges facing those who are pregnant and living with HIV during the COVID19 pandemic
    4. Understand the importance of reproductive justice in caring for those who are HIV+
    5. List available resources and ways to support those who are pregnant and living with HIV


    Faith Peterson M.D., CLC

    Philadelphia Birth Equity Project

    Faith Peterson, M.D. is a public health physician, advocate, doula and breastfeeding counselor. She has a focused interest in reproductive justice and perinatal mental health issues. She established the Philadelphia Birth Equity Project to increase awareness about disparities related to maternal and infant mortality and to encourage and support healthy pregnancy, birth and infant feeding in the city of Philadelphia.

  • Safer Sex & PrEP

    June 23, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM

    The ethics of safe sex practices among young adults has been debated over the last few decades especially in regards to absence verses promotion of condom usage. With the development of PrEP medications that added a new perspective to the argument of the best ways to educate youth when it comes to sexual health. It’s been proven through research that each individual person has to develop their own sexual health risk reduction plan. This presentation aims to provide the basic information anyone would need to have in regards to HIV/STI transmission, protection barriers and options for treatment need to have a foundation for one to develop their healthy sexual plan.


    This content is prerecorded and will be streamed or posted on the below platforms


    To provide participants with a safer sex 101 and PrEP presentation as well as dispelling myths about STI’s/HIV and safer sex practices.



    Harlan Shaw

    Harlan Shaw is currently the PrEP Coordinator at Philadelphia Fight’s YHEP Health Center where he works with the adolescents’ population ages 13-24 providing PrEP& PEP resources, linkage to medical care, assisting with financial coverage for those who are uninsured. He has 10+ years working with youth and in the HIV /STI prevention field as a HIV tester and counselor, life skills specialist and case manager. Harlan aims connect individuals in the tristate area to Philadelphia FIGHT’s PrEP program as well as develop innovative approaches to assist patient with PrEP Adherence.





    Kareem Mims

    Kareem Mims is a Philadelphia native who started his career in Public Health in 2007. Kareem began as a youth staff member at The Attic Youth Center facilitating groups and conducting outreach in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. He later became the supervisor of The Attic’s M-Powerment program which focused on providing HIV/STI information and resources for young men who have sex with men. After a 6 year tenor at The Attic, Kareem ventured out and to work as an HIV/STI Counselor at various non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia area. Kareem is currently serving as the Coordinator of Community Prevention Service at Philadelphia FIGHT.

  • The rising challenge of Non-AIDS Defining Cancers in People living with HIV: A growing Nemesis

    June 24, 2020
    Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Since the advent of cART, HIV/AIDS has progressively transformed from a relatively acute terminal condition into a chronic illness. And like most chronic illnesses, it carries co- morbidities. As the incidence of AIDS-defining malignancies has declined in the post-HAART era, the aging HIV population is now known to be at an increased risk for a multitude of nonAIDS-defining malignancies. These patterns highlight a clear need for cancer prevention among our aging patients.


    1. Describe some major features of the epidemiology of cancer among HIV-infected people.
    2. Risk factors of cancer in people living with HIV: Aging, Smoking, Immune dysregulation, Oncogenic Viruses (EBV, KSHV, HPV, HBV, HCV)


    Karam Mounzer M.D.

    Medical Chief Officer of Philadelphia FIGHT
    Clinical Professor of Medicine
    The Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Mounzer is the Medical Director of the largest, community-based Philadelphia HIV program, Philadelphia FIGHT-– The Jonathan Lax Treatment Center ( State-of-the-art medical care is provided in a setting that includes case management, HIV education, mental health assessments, nutritional counseling, substance abuse referrals, and behavioral-based adherence support intervention and treatment. Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV / hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. Additionally, he is involved in teaching and mentoring fellows, residents and students. He serves as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and continues to participate in our inpatient care and educational programs in the Infectious Disease Division at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.


    David H. Henry, MD

    Penn Medicine

    Dr. David Henry III, MD is a hematology specialist in Philadelphia, PA and has been practicing for 42 years. He graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1975 and specializes in hematology and medical oncology.







    Juan Lucas Poggio, MD

    Temple Health

    Dr. Juan Poggio is a colorectal surgeon in Philadelphia, PA and is affiliated with Temple Health. He received his medical degree from University of Salvador Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice 21 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including Spanish. He is experienced in minimally invasive surgery, surgical oncology (non-breast), colorectal surgery, medical education, and general / gastrointestinal surgery.

  • A New Tool in Your Toolbox: High Quality Health Information Resources

    June 24, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Where should you go for health information? Do you know you can trust it? How do you get your questions answered? Two things often prevent us from accessing high quality health information. The first is knowing where to go and the second is knowing how to find what you need once you get there. This session will discuss how to evaluate online health resources to ensure they are high quality and introduce free, accessible online tools from the National Library of Medicine. The audience will learn about resources for a variety of audiences, including researchers, healthcare providers and the public. The focus will be on locating HIV/AIDS information, but the audience will learn how they find information on other health topics using the same resources. In light of COVID-19, this session will also suggest trustworthy online resources on the pandemic for the public and health professionals. All resources introduced during this session will be freely available for the audience to access from the safety of their home. The presenter will also highlight upcoming online training opportunities available from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.


    1. By the end of the session, participants will describe how to evaluate health information resources for credibility
    2. By the end of the session, participants will list three resources from the National Library of Medicine they can use to locate health information
    3. By the end of the session, participants will describe recommendations for searching resources from the National Library of Medicine


    Erin Seger, MPH

    National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region

    Erin Seger, MPH, CHES is a public health professional who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has ten years of experience as a Health Educator and Public Health Professional. As Health Professions Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine- Middle Atlantic Region, she supports clinicians and public health professionals throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware by ensuring they have access to quality heath information. She supports this population through training, program development and outreach and oversees grant funded projects at clinical and public health organizations.

  • Being Counted: HIV Surveillance, the Census & Voting

    June 26, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    There is a history of under counting in this country with fears of being stigmatized because of HIV status, black folks being counting as 3/5 of a human, fears of being detained or deported based on legal residency status; most of which are disenfranchised to maintain the status quo. Counting has never been as simple as 1,2,3. There is power in the numbers; a history and future that is important to examine. The interconnections of the three are… HIV surveillance has its roots in the census, census determines representation, voting decides who represents us. This workshop explores all three and their relationship to the continuum of care.

    Marginalized Communities who do not have economic and social access have always been left out of plans of redistributing goods and services in their impoverished communities.  The mistrust of being accurately counted through the census and voting coupled with the hopelessness of poverty leaves those who are stigmatized wondering how do I get my voice heard. According to the United States Constitution it is “mandated that the country counts it’s population once every ten years.  These results are used to redraw electoral districts based on the populations increase or decrease.”  This in turn adjusts the potential for voting and voting rights among racial and impoverished populations.  The voting rights act of 1965 has seen twists and turns throughout its history but, most recently has seen more of a shift to suppress the vote.  Imagine the troubles of being counted through HIV surveillance which in many communities is tied to the myth of what is going to happen with my information.  According to the Centers for Disease Control HIV surveillance is “the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data regarding a health related event.”  This data will help to target communities that HIV runs rampant and brings with it the access to healthcare needed to live a long and healthy life.  Each of these points of being counted relate in many ways. 


    The workshop will provide participants an opportunity to:

    • Examine, from a community perspective, the myths around tactics used to incite fear when being involved in governmental counting necessities that are never fully explained in all their dimensions to the communities that could benefit from them
    • Explore the historical link to miseducation around HIV Survelience, 
    • Develop skills on ways to become involved in community education through learning skills of engagement and working with stakeholders.

    Implications: This information is important and relevant because of the implications of not being included in ways that could aid communities with programming and funding that would help to tackle poverty and increase healthcare access to those living with HIV/AIDS.  The current inferences for a presidential year that is mired with untruths and fear is lending to policies that punish the poor and minority communities that we serve daily.

    Integration: This workshop integrates the voices and perspectives of PLWHA and those at risk by bringing forth the interconnectedness of the systems that are designed to aid which communities feel leave them stigmatized, targeted for failure, and limited in their prospects for programs that will clear barriers and health inequities.

    Primary Track: Justice and Policy

    Secondary Track: The Continuum of Care


    Daiquiri Y. Robinson, M.Ed.

    Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board

    Daiquiri Y. Robinson, grew up in Philadelphia, PA and attended Northeast High School. After high school she attended Temple University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French and Psychology, a Masters of Education Degree in Psychoeducational Processes, and a Certificate in Aging from the Boston University Institute of Geriatric Social Work.

    Daiquiri has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS for the last 30 years. Daiquiri as the Director of Long-Term Housing. She is the Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board. Daiquiri serves as Treasurer for the National CFAR CAB Collaborative and is responsible for training community advisory boards on the fundamentals of fundraising and financial strategies. She serves on the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory Community Advisory Board out of the Wistar Institute.


    Tiffany B. Dominique

    BA, Communications & BA, History

    University of Houston, Director of SHOOTERS Narrative Shift

    Tiffany B. Dominique is a longstanding HIV ally and social justice activist. Ms. Dominique has over 20 years of community engagement experience professionally and a lifetime of practice encouraging folks to use the power of their voice to effect change at the ballot box, on the streets, and in a community meeting. Currently, Dominique is Director of SHOOTERS Narrative Shift, a transformative filmmaking training program for returning citizens. Prior to her work at SHOOTERS, Tiffany’s career includes work at the Penn Center for AIDS Research, YOACAP, and the Houston AIDS Foundation. Ms. Dominique received the 2019 Red Ribbon Outstanding Community Leadership Award from the Penn CFAR CAB. An award she is noted as treasuring beyond words.


    Andre H. Ford, PhDAndre H. Ford, PhD

    Chair of the National Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board Coalition (N3C)

    Andre H. Ford is a US Marine who rose to the rank of sergeant served in many positions which includes a Drill Instructor, transforming civilian recruits into United States Marines. After serving for eight years, he relocated to Philadelphia and was introduced to the important work done by community organizations. Dr. Ford worked in not-for-profit organizations that provided arts, education and health services to urban communities throughout the United States. He is committed to identifying and preserving educational, civic and cultural awareness opportunities within the African-American community.

    Dr. Ford is the Executive Administrator and Board Vice-President for the COLOURS Organization. A Lecturer on non-profit management with the Nonprofit Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.  Chair of the National Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board Coalition (N3C). Vice-Chair for the University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)-Community Advisory Board (CAB); and serves as a CAB member for the University of Pennsylvania’s Clinical Trial Unit (CTU); and the Mental Health AIDS Research Center (PMHARC). 

    Dr. Ford holds degrees from Concordia College, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.


    Robert Bruce Hill

    Chapter President | Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

    Mr. Robert Bruce Hill, Jr. is an Internal Audit and funeral service professional who’s passionate about mentorship, civic engagement and financial literacy. Currently, he’s Principal Auditor within Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Audit Team. He’s also a part-time Associate at Terry Funeral Home, Inc., in West Philadelphia.

    Civically, he serves as a Democratic Committeeman for the 44th Ward, 08th Division and Assistant Secretary of the 44th Democratic Ward Executive Committee. He is also the President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Rho Chapter and Vice Board Chairman of the Central Division Victim Services (CDVS).

    Bruce is a graduate of Drexel University and the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service where received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentration in Accounting and Associate of Science in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science, respectively.  

  • Bodies and Barriers: Raising up the voices of LGBT health consumers to remove barriers to care

    June 26, 2020
    Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    In this workshop, participants will hear from three queer health activists about how patient-centered narratives from LGBT healthcare consumers can be lifted up to remove barriers to healthcare for the LGBT patient population, particularly when LGBT community members are seeking HIV treatment and / or HIV prevention services or COVID-19 treatment. The healthcare system is not working for LGBTQ people, but sharing our stories about the experiences we have had trying to access quality care can change the system and make it work for our queer bodies. The panelists include the editor and contributing authors to the new anthology Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health


    1. identify barriers to care that prevent that LGBT patient population from seeking prevention and treatment services,
    2. express the importance of patient narratives for recommending clinical changes and
    3. recommend clinical changes that will improve access to care for the LGBT patient population


    Adrian Shanker

    Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

    Adrian Shanker is editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health and the executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA. A specialist in LGBT health policy, he developed leading-edge health promotion campaigns to advance health equity through behavioral, clinical, and policy changes. Adrian administered data collection for the 2015, 2018, and 2020 Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessments. He co-authored “Queer and Quitting: Addressing Tobacco Use as an LGBTQ Issue”, in The Routledge Handbook for LGBTQIA Administration and Policy. Adrian serves as Commissioner and health committee co-chair on the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. Previously, he served on the Office of Health Equity Advisory Board at Pennsylvania Department of Health. Named a “Healthcare Hero” by Lehigh Valley Business and twice named ‘Person of the Year’ by Philadelphia Gay News, Adrian earned a Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy & Practice from George Washington University.


    Emmett Patterson

    Emmett Patterson is a queer health activist, a writer, and The Global Health Projects Manager at Grindr for Equality. He studied Public Health and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at American University and completed a graduate certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice at George Washington University. His work focuses on transmasculine sexual health and trauma. He is the cofounder of Not Your Average Sex Talk, a peer-to-peer sex education activist training program that prepares young queer and trans activists to create their own spaces for sexual health and wellness programming. At Grindr, he oversees health programs, projects, and campaigns for LGBT users worldwide.


    Sean Strub

    Sean Strub is a longtime activist and writer who has been HIV positive for more than thirty-three years. He is the founder of POZ magazine, the leading independent global source of information about HIV, and served as its publisher and executive editor from 1994 to 2004. He presently serves as the executive director of the Sero Project, a network of people with HIV fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice. Strub was active with the People with AIDS Coalition/New York in the mid-eighties, cochaired the fundraising committee for ACT UP/New York in the late eighties, and in 1990 became the first openly HIV positive person to run for the U.S. Congress. He is the author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival.


  • Best Practices In Adherence Monitoring: A Case Study Of Philadelphia Fight

    June 29, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    We have access to a biomedical intervention called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) which can reduce the risk of HIV seroconversion by 99% when taken daily. However, non-adherence to PrEP is an ever-present concern. This workshop will explore the utilization of urine tenofovir testing for PrEP adherence monitoring at Philadelphia FIGHT from the perspectives of both providers and patients. We will be presenting national data on the use of tenofovir adherence monitoring and will present preliminary findings around changes in adherence over time, the ability of non-adherence to predict non-retention, and demographic differences in non-adherence. We will then shift to a real-world perspective of this technology and hear from a provider at Philadelphia FIGHT who has utilized this test. This provider will offer best practices and lessons learned around the use of this technology in a clinical setting. We will also discuss doing adherence counselling virtually (over the phone or via telehealth) and how to navigate those types of experiences.


    1. Educating participants on the national implications of adherence monitoring and the preliminary data on its implementation to date
    2. Offering participants best practices on the implementation of this technology and its utility in a clinical setting.


    Shane Hebel, JD

    UrSure Inc.

    Shane Hebel is the Director of Product for UrSure., which makes diagnostic tests aimed at monitoring and improving medication adherence. Shane leads the company’s research and development and clinical validation teams. He is also a member of the Boston HIV Research Community Advisory Board. Prior to UrSure, Shane worked at McKinsey, where he focused on payor and regulatory healthcare clients, and UNAIDS, where he worked in HIV law and policy.





    Harlan Shaw

    Philadelphia FIGHT

    Harlan Shaw is currently the PrEP Coordinator at Philadelphia Fight’s YHEP Health Center where he works with the adolescents’ population ages 13-24 providing PrEP& PEP resources, linkage to medical care, assisting with financial coverage for those who are uninsured. He has 10+ years working with youth and in the HIV /STI prevention field as a HIV tester and counselor, life skills specialist and case manager. Harlan aims connect individuals in the tristate area to Philadelphia FIGHT’s PrEP program as well as develop innovative approaches to assist patient with PrEP Adherence.

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Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

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