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WNCAP Speaks On Jones Street
On June 12th, a delegation of WNCAP staff and volunteers travelled to Raleigh to fight for people living with HIV throughout North Carolina. The annual event, called "HIV Speaks on Jones Street" is organized by the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN).
 
Left to Right: WNCAP Advocates Jody Cross, Michael Poandl, and Jeffrey Long stand before the NC State Capitol for HIV Speaks on Jones Street.
 
The day began with remarks by Jesse Milan, CEO of AIDS United, and NC Rep. Chris Malone (R-35), a state lawmaker who has been vocally supportive of policies benefiting people living with HIV. Then, a panel made up of a multitude of voices from across the state passionately discussed issues related to HIV Prevention and Care, from Medicaid expansion in North Carolina to condoms and PrEP. 
 
Left: WNCAP Advocate Jeffrey Long poses with AIDS United President and CEO Jesse Milan, who discussed U=U, stigma, and PrEP during his remarks. Right: Panel discussion.
 
The main policies HIV Advocates were fighting for on Jones Street this year included:
  • Full funding for the HIV Medication Assistance Program (HMAP - formerly ADAP) so that low-income North Carolinians can continue to access lifesaving medications without wait lists
  • Additional funding for Hepatitis C prevention and treatment
  • Expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act so that 400,000 additional North Carolinians, including many people living with HIV and HepC, can access health care
Normally, June 12 falls within a period of time when the NC General Assembly is furiously negotiating the details of the state budget. However, this year, the Republican majority in the General Assembly is rushing through the legislative calendar in an attempt to adjourn the session by the end of the month. So this year, on June 12, the budget had already passed.
 
In fact, moments before meeting with state lawmakers, the WNC delegation watched as Republicans in the General Assembly overturned a veto from Governor Roy Cooper, effectively cementing the state budget.
 
HIV Advocates look on as Republicans in the General Assembly overturn a budget veto from Governor Roy Cooper. This year's budget funds several HIV policy priorities.
 
The new state budget  addresses two of the three major policy priorities of HIV advocates. HMAP is fully funded, and an additional $600,000 has been allocated to Hepatitis C testing in the state (which, although not ideal, is better than the current allocation). Medicaid expansion remains highly unlikely given the current legislative composition, but state Republicans are battening down the hatches for this fall's election, with many predicting the end of the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly.
 
Soon, the Western North Carolina delegation, led by WNCAP staff and volunteers, organized to plan the day's legislative visits. WNC advocates held an impressive four meetings with local lawmakers to educate, advocate, and learn. Meetings took place with the offices of Rep. Josh Dobson (R-85) and Rep. Brian Turner (D-116), and in person with Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-48) and Rep. John Ager (D-115). Topics discussed included the state budget, Medicaid expansion, harm reduction and syringe exchange programs, U=U science, and information about HIV treatment and PrEP. 
 
Clockwise, from top left: Team WNC met with the offices of Reps. Josh Dobson (R-85) and Brian Turner (D-116), and in person with Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-48) and Rep. John Ager (D-115)
 
This fall's elections aren't just for federal candidates. Every state lawmaker is up for election in 2018. As HIV Advocates, we have a responsibility to stay informed and vote for the candidate who supports continued resources for people living with HIV and access to health care for everyone, regardless of income, location, or HIV status.
 
Make Art, Save Lives
WNCAP Now Accepting Submissions to 2018 Signature Piece Competition
 
Calling all artists! WNCAP is now accepting submissions for the Signature Piece Art Competition. The juried competition will select a first-place winning artwork which will serve as the cornerstone of Be Our Guest, WNCAP's fall celebration featuring the 30th Anniversary Raise Your Hand Auction. All proceeds from Be Our Guest will directly benefit WNCAP in its mission to provide HIV prevention and care in Western North Carolina.
 
To submit, please fill out this online form.
 
The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 27th, 2018. Any artist working in any medium is encouraged to apply. The pieces will be judged by three prominent members of the Asheville arts community: Pam Myers, Director of the Asheville Art Museum, Michael Manes, Director of Blue Spiral 1 Art Gallery, and Linda Gritta, an Asheville painter who was the winner of the 2017 Signature Piece Competition.
 
Past Signature Piece Winners (Left to Right): Mark Bettis, 2014; Cindy Walton, 2015; Constance Williams, 2016
 
Be Our Guest is one of the most prestigious and high profile social events in Asheville, hosting up to 200 community leaders. It will feature gourmet cuisine catered by Asheville's beloved Chef Anthony Cerrato of Strada and The Social Lounge, and several inspirational WNCAP success stories. Brunk Auctions, an internationally known local auction house, will facilitate the live auction that has raised millions of dollars for 
WNCAP throughout the years. 
 
The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 27th. For more submission details, please contact Randy at randy@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489 ext. 313
Save the Date
WNCAP and Walgreens Partner to Celebrate National HIV Testing Day on June 27
 
National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is tomorrow, June 27! NHTD is an opportunity to promote HIV testing for everyone. One out of seven people living with HIV are not aware of their status, posing a serious threat to their health and others'. This year, WNCAP is partnering with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS to put on a free testing event. Stop by the Walgreens Pharmacy in North Asheville - 841 Merrimon Avenue - between 10am-2pm for a free and fast HIV test. Do yourself a favor - get tested and take control of your health!
 
#NHTD #GreaterThanAIDS
Team of Rivals
MAHEC Teams Compete for DOFL Donations
 
Nothing like a little friendly competition to really boost community support for HIV! Our friends at Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) split into two teams - Family Health and OB/GYN - to see who could raise the most money during Dining Out For Life! And even though Family Health did, in fact, win, Sister Margarita Del Encanto of the Beer City Sisters still stopped by to spread joy and glitter to both teams for stepping up to support HIV Prevention & Care. We love our community health partners!
 
Lend a Hand
Our Clients Need Your Help!
Attention, friends of WNCAP! Two of our clients could use your help. One of our clients had to throw out all of their furniture due to bedbugs and is now in search of a sofa, loveseat, or other living room chairs for their home. If you have any spare furniture of this kind you would like to donate to a person living with HIV in need, please contact Lacy at
lacyhoyle@wncap.org.
 
Another one of our clients is searching for a job in the food industry. Specifically, she has experience working as a cook in nursing homes, so if you are aware of a facility like that in need of cooks, please reach out to Norma at norma@wncap.org.
 
Thank you for helping those in need!
Never Forget
WNCAP Accepting Requests for AIDS Quilt Panels
 
The last week of November, WNCAP will bring selected panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Asheville. We prefer to choose panels that honor family and friends of people living here in WNC. If you would like to request the Quilt panel of a loved one, please reach out. Contact Randy at randy@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489. Let's work together to honor those we have lost! 
Happy Bday USA!
WNCAP Offices Will Be Closed on July 4th
 
It's that time of year again: fireworks, hamburgers, picnic blankets - Independence Day is right around the corner. All WNCAP offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th, in honor of Independence Day. If you need to speak with a Case Manager or any WNCAP employee, be sure to call, email, or stop by before or after July 4. The main WNCAP office line is (828) 252-7489. Happy Birthday, USA!
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
http://wncap.org
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