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WNCAP Wants YOU To Vote in the Midterms! 
Today is Election Day in North Carolina and around the country. That means it's time to be like Michael Harney and VOTE! Because this year in North Carolina, what's on the ballot really matters. Not only is every House member and state lawmaker up for re-election, along with a slew of state judges. This year, six proposed amendments to the North Carolina state constitution are on the ballot, affecting everything from the power of the governor to appoint judges to photo ID requirements for voting.
Polls are open from 6:30am - 7:30pm. Not sure where to cast your ballot? Click here to find out. If you run into any problems at the polling place or you have any questions, call 888-OUR-VOTE for help and information. Need a ride to go vote? Uber and Lyft are offering free or sharply discounted rides to take folks to the polls today. And of course, you can always call WNCAP at (828) 252-7489 with any questions or concerns about voting. We'll hook you up. Why? Because when people living with HIV vote, people living with HIV do better.
A Stitch In Time
The AIDS Memorial Quilt in Asheville
From Monday, November 26th through Saturday, December 1st, 2018, WNCAP will present portions of the famous AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Masonic Temple in downtown Asheville (80 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC, 28801). The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10am-7pm (10am-4:30pm on Monday, November 26th).
The Quilt began in the June 1987 when a small group gathered in San Francisco to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS-related causes, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease. This meeting of devoted friends and lovers served as the foundation of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.
In 1987, 1,920 panels were first displayed in the nation's capital during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, to highlight the scale of the epidemic. By 2007, the Quilt included more than 46,000 panels representing over 80,000 people and it continues to grow. It is a memorial to those lost to AIDS-related causes, a tool for preventing new HIV infections, and the world's largest ongoing community art project.
The WNCAP Quilt Exhibit includes twenty 12x12 foot blocks, each one made up of 8 or more individual panels, pay tribute to those who died from AIDS-related causes. Many of the panels memorialize people from the local Western North Carolina area who passed away. Others are more far-flung, such as one block made entirely of international panels. It is a solemn and moving exhibit, but also an inspiring display of the love and activism that was generated by the AIDS epidemic.
We are still looking for volunteers to be exhibit hosts, or "docents", for the Quilt display. Exhibit hosts will greet exhibit-goers, provide them with an information card and act as a pleasant and professional representative of WNCAP and monitor of the Quilt. Contact Chris at or call (828) 252-7489 ext. 315 to schedule your 3-hour shift.
Letter From New Orleans
Impressions from the 2018 Harm Reduction Conference
Claudia Mattheiss is the Administrative Assistant for the Far Western Region at WNCAP.
First of all, I would like to thank WNCAP for allowing me to attend the conference. As a person who has spent her entire career in finance I was not only completely unaware but very naïve of the issues. The fact that this country is struggling with a syndemic, that the “War on Drugs” is in fact a “War on people who use drugs” and that viruses like Hep C and HIV are still at crisis levels nationwide was complete news to me.
Attending this conference exposed me to a vast amount of experience, knowledge, education, new research, and information in a very short period of time.
Below is but a glimpse of the wide variety of seminars I was able to attend:
  • Behavioral Outcomes and Health Impacts Associated with Off-Label, Point-of-use Fentanyl Test Strip Technology among people who inject drugs in North Carolina.
  • The Impact of implementing an HIV testing and STD screening component into harm reduction program targeting substance using men who have sex with men
  • Collaborative approaches to homelessness among people who use opiates
  • Hustling Survivor: Sex Worker Resistance Post
  • Hep C and Harm Reduction
  • Getting to Fifty: Winning Syringe Access for All
  • Harm Reduction Advocacy in the Deep South: Have a seat at the table not made for us
  • 201: Stimulant use in America
  • Saving lives with Fentanyl
However, what I found most valuable was the exposure to the emotional experiences that were shared.  For instance, understanding the realities and difficulties of people living with Hep C or HIV, how recent legislative changes have put people who work in the sex industry at higher risk, and understanding the true damage stigma inflicts.
Again thank you for allowing me to attend this conference which was truly a life changing experience.
Best regards,
Claudia Mattheiss
To learn more about the 2018 Harm Reduction Conference, check out this great article.
Welcome To The Monkeyhouse
WNCAP Welcomes New Team Members
 In the past several months, WNCAP has been incredibly blessed by the arrival of new team members! Every WNCAP employee plays a vital role in delivering HIV Prevention & Care to our local community. Below are brief biographies of WNCAP's newest additions...
Jen Alvarado, Administrative Assistant, Asheville
Jen comes to us from Florida with extensive skills in computer, clerical & administrative work. She is also bilingual. Jen moved to Asheville last July with her fiance and 5- year-old daughter . She is looking forward to working at WNCAP and calling WNC her home.
Katherine Bell, Peer Support Specialist, Franklin
Katherine is very excited to be working for WNCAP.  She hopes that her experience working with people who use drugs and people living with HIV will be beneficial. Katherine holds a Bachelors of Sociology from California State, Northridge and worked in Los Angeles as a certified HIV/AIDS case manager for men in a mens correctional facility. She lives in Franklin with her partner and many pets.
Ginger Malcom, NEPA Peer Support Specialist, Asheville
Ginger Malcom is a strong and accomplished advocate and motivational speaker for the recovery community. As a person in long term recovery herself, she draws on her own experiences of progress and setback due to the use of drugs and alcohol to touch the lives of many seeking the freedom and happiness she now enjoys. Upon achieving state and international certifications in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Ginger has been a determined activist for government reform. She was a participant in the 2014 Criminal Justice Reform of the State of Georgia’s “Ban the Box” Executive Order.  Her primary goal is to assist others in facilitating change afforded to everyone in recovery. Yes, she personally lived through the pain, loss and ugly side of drug addiction. However, today she relishes the joy that comes in finding a new way to live, returning to families and friends drug-free, and proving her worth as a welcomed member of a community. In her presentations, she encourages, motivates and educates others to “thrive through recovery to celebrate life!”
Sasia Maloney, Peer Support Specialist, Franklin
My name is Sasia Maloney. I was born and raised in the WNC. My husband and I have two beautiful sons and we enjoy traveling, a nice hike in the mountains and boating on the lake. I have been a Laboratory Technician and a certified phlebotomist for the past 9 years. I am trained in Epidemics and Infectious diseases. I enjoy helping people with their recovery!
Claudia Mattheiss, Administrative Assistant, Franklin
Claudia Mattheiss has spent the majority of her career working as an Administrative Assistant in International Finance in New York. She brings with her extensive experience in reporting, compliance, data management and  confidential record keeping. Her drive to contribute to society and the community at large persisted throughout her life even while being busy raising two children. She is the founder of the "South Orange Water Watch", a Hurricane Katrina Volunteer featured on Oprah Winfrey, and a CERT "Certified Emergency Response Team" member under FEMA. To her friends she is known as "the dog whisperer", her cats call her "the one who feeds us" and her parrots call her "Step up girl". Her passions are nature, respecting life in all its forms and making the world a better place for all who call it home. Her motto comes from our Native American brothers and sisters: We are all one!
Season of Giving
WNCAP Collecting Donations for Merry & Bright
Unbelievably, the Holiday Season is already soon upon us. In the midst of all the lines and crowds, the decorations and baked goods, it's important to remember those less fortunate than us. Merry and Bright collects donated gifts from the community so that all children can have a happy holiday. 
There are two ways to participate in Merry & Bright. The first is to donate directly to WNCAP (Select "Merry and Bright" as your Donation Category). The second is to contact  Randy for a list of items that have been requested by our children. You can email or call (828) 252-7489 ext. 313. Either way, you are helping hundreds of children have a happy holiday, and bringing tears to the eyes of their parents and grandparents. Thank you for your generosity!
Support the Troops
Veterans Day is November 11
Sunday, November 11 is Veterans Day. This year marks the Centennial of the holiday, known before 1956 as Armistice Day. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I formally ended. Since then, November 11 has been a day to honor all the people who have served in the American armed forces. 
Homelessness among veterans is a nationwide problem, but it is particularly acute in WNC. In Asheville alone, 45% of homeless people previously served in the military. On this Veterans Day, let's all reflect on how we can better respect the service of the brave men and women who risked everything to keep us free.
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
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