“Kiyoshi was a fighter for social justice all his life and he followed the trajectory of the movement in our generation through the civil rights and antiwar movements, gay liberation ethnic identity and ACT UP. Yet his work was uniquely propelled by one common theme: Kiyoshi believed that information is power- and therefore information should be freely available to anyone who needed it — and by freely I mean both uncensored and for free, and as much as anyone else he worked in the AIDS community for nearly 20 years to give people free, uncensored information – clear, accurate and comprehensive information… AND to give people the tools, the power, to use it.”
Jane Shull’s remarks at Kiyoshi’s Memorial Service, May 23, 2000
More Information on Kiyoshi Kuromiya
“I was a born felon. I was born in a U.S. concentration camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming, along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. And not because of any crime, but because of race.”
A personal assistant to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he was also one of the founders of Gay Liberation Front/Philadelphia and served as an openly gay delegate to the Black Panther Convention that endorsed the gay liberation struggle. He was involved with ACT-UP/Philadelphia; PWA empowerment; We The People Living with HIV/AIDS; national and international research advocacy; and loving and compassionate mentorship and care for hundreds of people living with HIV.
On November 30, 2021, Philadelphia FIGHT was the victim of a criminal cyberattack that may impact the confidentiality and privacy of patient information. As soon as we discovered this attack, we disconnected our network from the Internet, stopping the criminal attack, launched an investigation into the nature and scope of the event with the assistance of third-party forensic computer forensics specialists, and reported the crime to law enforcement. We also confirmed, based on available evidence, that this attack did not impact our electronic medical records or other clinical systems.
On January 13, 2022, we learned through our continuing investigation that certain non-clinical systems within our network were accessed by the criminal actor, and later determined that those systems contained legally protected patient information. We cannot confirm that any sensitive information was accessed or taken by the criminal actor, and we are unaware to date of any publication or fraudulent misuse of information related to this event; however, we are providing notice of this event because legally protected information was located on the impacted non-clinical systems. This information includes names, dates of birth, social security numbers, medical diagnosis, treatment information, and health insurance information, and we are working to identify and send individual letters to any individual whose legally protected information may have been impacted.
We have mailed letters to impacted individuals. If you received a letter and you have questions, please call Philadelphia FIGHT 215-985-4448.
We deeply regret any inconvenience or concern this event may cause our patients. We are and have always been committed to patient privacy and confidentiality. We are developing and implementing a review and enhancement of our security protocols to help prevent something like this from happening again.
We encourage everyone to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your account statements and monitoring your free credit reports for suspicious activity and error detection. You can also review the following information for additional steps you can take to protect information.
Monitor Your Accounts
Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of your credit report.
Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a one-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.
As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report. To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
Full name (including middle initial, as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
Social Security number;
Date of birth;
Addresses for the prior two to five years;
Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, etc.); and
A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.
Should you wish to place a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:
TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094
You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General.
Today is National Transgender HIV Testing Day, a day to recognize the importance of routine HIV testing, status awareness, & continued focus on HIV prevention & treatment for transgender & nonbinary people.
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People with certain risk factors should get tested at least once a year.
According to a CDC report, 42% of transgender women surveyed in seven major US cities have HIV. Among respondents, 62% of Black or African American transgender women, 35% of Hispanic/Latina transgender women, and 17% of White transgender women have HIV. These findings highlight health disparities for transgender people that are exacerbated by transphobic discrimination, limited access to gender-affirming care, insufficient HIV testing, HIV stigma, and systemic racism.
Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers is committed to ensuring our transgender patients have access to high-quality, inclusive services that support optimal health outcomes and improve quality of life.
Most New HIV diagnoses among transgender people were among Black/African American people.
Among transgender people, most new HIV diagnoses were among people aged 25 to 34.
PrEP is one pill, taken once a day that will prevent you from becoming HIV+ by over 95%.
Philadelphia FIGHT is committed to providing healthcare services, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, to all people regardless of health insurance status or ability to pay.
This week is National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week, which recognizes the unique and intersectional healthcare needs of LGBTQ+ people, as well as the strength and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.
Unfortunately, this year we have seen an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills and policies implemented across the country, including Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Texas’ attempted criminalization of comprehensive healthcare for trans and nonbinary youth.
We at Philadelphia FIGHT are committed, now more than ever, to supporting LGBTQ+ people by providing comprehensive and affirming care to all in need. Whether you are a young person looking for a welcoming space to talk about your gender and sexuality, an older adult interested in ways to practice safer sex, or simply looking to start your health and wellness journey, we are here to provide you the care you need to live a full and happy life.
Commitment to LGBTQ+ Patients
In 2021, nearly one-third of all Philadelphia FIGHT’s patients identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or another sexual or gender minority. Specifically, 7% of Philadelphia FIGHT’s patients identified as transgender, nonbinary, or genderqueer. According to a 2022 Gallop poll, 7.1% of adults in the United States identify as LGBTQ+ and just under 1% of adults identify as transgender.
LGBTQ+ people have access to all the same comprehensive health services at FIGHT as our non-LGBTQ+ patients. Our services are available to those without insurance or the financial means to pay, and many of our services can be delivered in Spanish. Below is just a shortlist of some of the care LGBTQ+ people find at FIGHT:
Physicals, sick, and well visits
Gender affirming healthcare and hormone therapy
PEP and PrEP for HIV prevention
Comprehensive HIV care
STI testing and treatment
Family planning and reproductive health services
Mental healthcare and case management
Wellness-focused dental services
Referrals to community partners focused on housing, legal, and education justice
Part of our commitment to serving LGBTQ+ people is a commitment to lifelong learning and involvement with LGBTQ+ movements toward health and social justice. Below are a few recent articles that dive deeper into the healthcare experiences and needs of some LGBTQ+ people. We encourage you to find time this week to learn about a topic new to you!
The Women’s Program supports HIV-positive women to heal, grow, maintain health, and achieve their goals.
The Women’s Program is committed to excellent care for women living with HIV that is comprehensive, team-based, and respectful of diverse cultural backgrounds and spiritual traditions. We partner with women living with HIV to heal, grow, maintain health, and achieve their goals. The Women’s Program uses a trauma-informed framework, recognizing that unaddressed and unhealed trauma impacts people’s current functioning. Our multi-disciplinary team members provide support to address life stressors that may interfere with taking life-saving medication and thriving.
‘Barrier Buster’ Care Navigation
Funded through Ryan White Part D, care navigation addresses the needs of women living with HIV that are not covered by other Ryan White funding streams. The women we serve often face multiple structural barriers to care created by social determinants of health, and are outside of individual participants’ control. Other barriers are related to women’s caregiving responsibilities for children and elders, or the stigma still associated with HIV. Our care navigator accompanies people through our fragmented health care system and offers support and skill-building to develop empowerment and independence and support community engagement.
Services include Preconception and pregnancy counseling for PLWHIV, ART adherence support, medical and psychosocial escorts, transportation support, emergency food assistance, advocacy within medical and other institutional systems (such as the courts) , crisis management for partner violence and relationship issues, short term counseling for grief and loss, building spiritual and community support to decrease stress and isolation.
In 2021 we started an SPNS initiative to improve retention in care and viral load suppression for Black women living with HIV in Philadelphia. Using three established evidence-informed interventions (WE CARE, Stay Connected, and Taking Care of Me) the project hopes to retain more Black women in care and help them remain virally suppressed. ‘G.E.M.S ‘ is a five-week small-group intervention with interactive sessions in which participants examine their risks, develop skills to reduce their risks, and receive feedback from others.
In normal times, self-identified female patients may participate in our weekly women’s support group and our monthly women’s wellness workshop. We partner with the Fox Chase Mammogram Van and host a PAP-A-THON to increase access for our most vulnerable participants who have not engaged in routine cancer screenings. As part of the effort to End the AIDS Epidemic and prevent new infections, we encourage partner testing and referral for PrEP services for those who are interested.
Integral Molecular, a research-driven biotechnology company based in University City, has partnered with FIGHT to provide financial and in-kind donations, as well as volunteer efforts, to support healthcare access and equity in Philadelphia.
In addition to a $10,000 corporate donation, Integral Molecular employees organized a day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and on President’s Day, they joined FIGHT Pediatrics and Y-HEP team members to re-decorate the clinic spaces after the paint job they helped to finance.
“What I can say about Integral Molecular is that it is rare to find a community partner that donates not just money but also time. In addition to $10,000 this year (and another $5,000) last year, they donated 60 hours of their time and energy, manually helping to beautify our pediatric and adolescent practices, AND they donated 300 books! It’s a genuine commitment to support our mission, and it is very much appreciated.”
Dr. Mario Cruz, Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is the industry leader in developing and applying innovative technologies that advance the discovery of therapeutics against difficult protein targets. With 20 years of experience focused on membrane proteins and antibodies, Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.
Dr. Cruz joined Philadelphia FIGHT in 2017 with the goal of building Philadelphia FIGHT’s first (and best!) Pediatric health 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. In addition to being recognized as one of Philadelphia’s best pediatricians and receiving numerous awards for community service, social innovation, teaching and mentorship, Dr. Cruz has unique expertise and training in Child Abuse Pediatrics through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Child Abuse Preceptorship.
Six months ago, in a significant moment of transition for the health centers, Dr. Cruz agreed to serve as the Interim Director of Y-HEP while continuing to serve as the Medical Director of Pediatrics. Over the last several months, Dr. Cruz and Y-HEP staff members have worked together to continue the excellent work of serving adolescents and young adults. Dr. Cruz is committed to continuing the innovative work that makes Y-HEP so special while also continuing to build the best pediatric practice in the City.
“I’m excited to contribute towards the mission of Philadelphia FIGHT in a broader capacity. The reality is that some youth are suffering and dying more than others, simply because of who they are. My role is to harness the tremendous skills, resources and creativity of the Pediatrics and YHEP clinics towards the elimination of these disparities.”
Dr. Mario Cruz, Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
FIGHT Pediatrics provides high-quality, comprehensive primary care to address the physical and emotional health needs of children from birth through age 18. Located in Center City Philadelphia, we are specially tailored to care for children and adolescents who have experienced social adversity. Patients of all income levels, races, nationalities, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, insurance statuses, are welcomed regardless of ability to pay.
The Y-HEP Health Center offers an inclusive, trauma-informed, gender affirming approach to healthcare for adolescents and young adults (ages 13-24), providing access to comprehensive primary care, sexual and reproductive health services, integrated behavioral health, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV), and other relevant social services that aim to address the social determinants of health.
In honor of Women’s History Month, CHTA recognizes our very own Jane Shull, CEO of Philadelphia Fight.
Jane Shull is the Chief Executive Officer 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. Before 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.
To date, Jane remains committed to advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk amid the COVID 19 Pandemic. She supported the efforts of FIGHT’s Community Health Centers implementation of COVID testing sites for underserved communities and access to COVID vaccinations within our Community Health Centers.
Bilal Motley, FIGHT’s Facilities Director, made this film to dispel myths about the vaccine for black people in the West Philadelphia community. The film was commissioned by the University for the Sciences in Philadelphia and honors community voices. Please check out the film.
Jeffrey is a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist. His clinical expertise is in adolescent and young adult primary care, gender affirming medical care, sexual and reproductive health, medical care for youth living with HIV, and eating disorders.