Minister Cauzell Harris

Cauzell Harris
Growing up, I wasn’t very connected with my family. I was an outcast. I have always felt that God loves everyone equally no matter where they come from, how they live life, or what they believe. My family didn’t always feel the same; this led to a lot of challenges in the home. I never lived with my parents; it was my sister who raised me. She was my mother and father growing up. My sister never kicked me out, but at the age of 14, I decided that I didn’t want to be in her house anymore. I wanted to prove that I could make it on my own two feet. By age 15, I started prostituting. I needed the money, but I knew in my heart that’s not what I wanted to do with my life. When I was 18, I was hanging out downtown and I decided to get tested in a mobile HIV testing van. After I took the test, the guy closed the door and said, ‘I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have HIV.’ Right away I thought, how did I catch HIV? But then I started to think about the things I was doing- having unprotected sex with multiple people, not caring who it was. I also started to wonder if I had given it to somebody else. I began going to the Y-HEP Health Center for treatment. Y-HEP is a safe place for people who don’t have anywhere else to go. When you need somebody to talk to, they always have someone who understands. Y-HEP has so many resources. I’m very appreciative, because without Y-HEP, I never would’ve found housing. I might still be going from shelter to shelter, street to street, trashcan to trashcan. You name it, I’ve probably slept in it. The staff members at Y-HEP and FIGHT also supported me when I wanted to become a youth minister. They helped me become more comfortable and confident with who I am and with speaking to other people. Every day I wake up and take my HIV medicine. I thank God, because it could’ve been worse and because He put me in a position to help others. If I wasn’t living with HIV, I don’t think I’d be here. When I came to grips with my diagnosis, life became better. I have been undetectable since I was 19 and that is a blessing. Now, the last thing on my mind is HIV. I hope that sharing my story will help people get more comfortable dealing with HIV. I have HIV, but I’m not going to allow that to dictate my life. When I talk to someone who is struggling with their diagnosis I tell them not to dwell on it. I tell them that while it might not be easy, HIV should not and will not be the end.

- Minister Cauzell Harris

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 fellows, residents and students.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Karam Mounzer, MD

Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center

FIGHT Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center - Dr. Mario Cruz
February 2018 – Philadelphia FIGHT will be opening a new Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center dedicated to providing high quality, comprehensive, primary care to address the physical, emotional and sexual health needs of inner-city children and youth from birth through age 24.