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WNCAP Goes To Washington, D.C. for AIDSWatch
 
A delegation of WNCAP staff and volunteers will head to Washington, D.C. on March 26-27 for AIDSWatch, the annual HIV Advocacy Day presented by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
 
AIDSWatch is a gathering of hundreds of people living with HIV and their allies to meet with members of Congress and to educate them about the important issues at stake for people living with HIV/AIDS. AIDSWatch is organized by AIDS United, the Treatment Access Expansion Project, and the US People Living With HIV Caucus. This year is the 25th Anniversary of the event.
 
On March 26, attendees will participate in lectures and group discussions to learn about policy issues and to prepare to be effective advocates in Congressional meetings. Then, on March 27, attendees will storm Capitol Hill and meet with dozens of Congresspeople and Senators to explain the importance of HIV-related issues.
 
 
Some of the key policy issues to be discussed with Members of Congress this year include: increased investment in the Ryan White and CDC HIV/AIDS programs, as well as the Housing Opportunities for Persons Living With AIDS program; maintenance of existing health infrastructure, including Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act; Civil rights legislation that protects people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable groups; and quality, evidence-based sexual education for all American young people.
 
North Carolina is usually well-represented at AIDS Watch, and this year, two long-time North Carolina advocates are leading presentations on the first day of the event: North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) Executive Director Lee Storrow will co-present a policy lecture about HIV Criminalization laws; and Duke Professor of Law and Health Clinic Director Carolyn McAlister will help lead a discussion on the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative. 
 
WNCAP is proud to be representing Western North Carolina in the struggle for HIV Prevention and Care. In 1986, the World Health Organization issued a statement that said: "People cannot achieve their full health potential unless they are able to take control of those things which determine their health." it is almost impossible to give people control over their health without sustained and focused political advocacy. That's why AIDSWatch matters, 25 years on.
Dining Out For Life
There's Still Time to Volunteer as a DOFL Ambassador
 
There's still time to volunteer as an "Ambassador" for Dining Out For Life. On Thursday, April 26, over 100 restaurants in Western North Carolina will donate 20% of their proceeds to WNCAP to use for HIV Prevention and Care. Diners also have an opportunity to give an additional donation to WNCAP, and in the process enter a raffle for three grand prizes. As a matter of fact, the majority of support that WNCAP receives on Dining Out For Life comes from these individual donations. And that's why Ambassadors are so important.
 
As an Ambassador, your job is to fill your Participating Restaurant with as many friends, family, neighbors and colleagues that you can call. Then, on the day of the event, you will greet diners to explain the purpose of Dining Out For Life and inquire if they would like to provide additional support and enter the raffle. These interactions are critical to the success of the event. And, it's a fun and unique way of giving back to the community and "hosting" your friends at your favorite restaurant.
 
 
Slots for DOFL Ambassadors are filling up fast, so be sure to check out the list of available "shifts" today. You can also email Chris at wncapvolunteer@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489 ext. 315 for additional information.
 
The Opioid Crisis
"Dreamland" Author Sam Quinones to Speak at Blue Ridge Community College
 
 
Sam Quinones, author of the groundbreaking book "Dreamland" will speak at Blue Ridge Community College on Thursday, March 29. The event will begin at 6:30 pm. Tickets are only $5 but they are selling out fast, so purchase yours now.
 
Perhaps no book has captured the origins and impact of America's Opioid Crisis like Sam Quinones' "Dreamland". A stunning piece of investigative journalism that firmly placed the conversation about opioids in the cultural mainstream, "Dreamland" was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. It connects the seemingly disparate worlds of Mexican drug cartels, sub-par workers compensation plans, and high-dollar marketing of pharmaceuticals to paint a picture of how the opioid crisis has gotten so bad, so fast. 
Save the Date
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 20
 
Tuesday, March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Although rates of diagnosed HIV among native populations are relatively low, high levels of stigma prevent many Native people from getting tested in the first place. And for tribal villages that are dwindling in number, a single person could carry the oral tradition of the entire tribe. Check out this great article from Poz Magazine that explains the unique challenges faced by Native Americans living with HIV/AIDS.
 
Today, let's raise awareness of the unique HIV-related issues faced by Native Americans, and work to end stigma for all peoples!
 
#NNHAAD
Existence is Resistance
International Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31
 
March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility. In contrast to Transgender Day of Remembrance (observed on November 20) which focuses on mourning individuals who were lost to violence in the previous year, Transgender Day of Visibility aims to showcase the trans community in a positive light that celebrates achievements made in the previous year.
 
In that spirit of positivity and progress, this year's theme is "Trans Thriving". In spite of the intense transphobia and cissexism that exists worldwide, trans people have made great strides the realms of politics, media, and culture. 
 
#tdov #TransThriving
OUTfront for LGBT Health
LGBT Health Awareness Week is
March 26-30
The 16th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week is March 26-30. The theme this year is "OUTfront for LGBT Health". 
 
LGBT Health Awareness Week aims to bring attention to the discrimination and health disparities that affect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. LGBT people are more likely to experience violence, less likely to be insured, and may delay or not seek necessary medical care due to fear of stigma or harassment. Studies reveal that LGBT people of color face even more significant challenges to maintaining health and wellness.
 
#LGBTHAW18 #OUTfront
 Sex Work Is Work
Asheville Sex Worker Outreach Project to Hold Event on March 28
 
 
The Asheville Sex Worker Outreach Project (ASWOP) will hold an event on Wednesday, March 28 to help sex workers in our region. It will take place at The Odditorium from 7pm-11pm.
 
the event, called "Bags for Babes", will gather volunteers to build care packages for low-resourced sex workers. These care packages will include everything from snacks and bras to condoms and tampons.
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
http://wncap.org
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