Western North Carolina AIDS Project
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Will You Be the Top DOFL Recruiter?
We are less than a month away from Dining Out For Life on Thursday, April 25, and there are still plenty of restaurant shifts that need filling by volunteer Ambassadors. See a list of available shifts here.
We know that the best way to recruit Ambassadors is for friends of WNCAP to personally reach out to their networks. As someone who passionately believes in WNCAP's mission of HIV Prevention & Care in WNC, you are in a unique position to explain the importance of Dining Out For Life to your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues.
This year, WNCAP is providing a little extra incentive to our recruiters: The person or couple who inspires the most people to volunteer for Dining Out For Life will receive a $50 Gift Certificate to the Grail Moviehouse
So forward this email, make phone calls, send text messages, and post on social media to spread the message about volunteering for Dining Out For Life! Tell your friends to let us know that you referred them. 
If you have any questions about volunteering for Dining Out For Life, please contact Chris at wncapvolunteer@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489 ext. 315. 
Truth To Power
WNC Speaks On Jones Street
On March 12, 2019, a group of WNCAP staff and volunteers travelled to Raleigh for the annual day of statewide HIV advocacy called HIV Speaks On Jones Street. The event, organized by the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN), brings together advocates from all areas of the state to speak directly to state lawmakers about issues affecting people living with HIV.
The day began with a series of speakers and panels. Advocates heard inspiring words from Jeremy Collins from Governor Cooper's office and Marvin Anderson from the Southern AIDS Coalition.
An all-female panel chaired by trans woman Cecilia Gentili and including Wanda Brendle-Moss, Takia Miller, and Stephanie Brown, discussed a wide range of issues affecting women and all people living with HIV. Interestingly, Brown spoke about the importance of expunging "self-stigma" and learning to love oneself before a person can advocate for other people living with HIV.
The main issues North Carolina advocates fought for in 2019 were Medicaid Expansion in NC and increasing state appropriations for Hepatitis C prevention and research.
The Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, allows states to expand their Medicaid programs at low cost to the state (initially, no cost). 37 states have expanded Medicaid under this provision of ACA, including many states normally thought of as heavily conservative.
Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would provide healthcare for at least 5,000 people living with HIV in North Carolina. It would also help save rural hospitals, a particular concern for people living with HIV in rural areas, such as many of WNCAP's clients. Expanding Medicaid would also make it easier for people to access PrEP, a daily pill that reduces the chances of contracting HIV by 90%.
Rates of Hepatitis C have skyrocketed in North Carolina, partly because of the opioid epidemic. That is why advocates asked lawmakers to increase state appropriations for Hepatitis C prevention and research from $600,000 (over two years) to $900,000 (over two years).
Advocates requested the money be appropriated to the Communicable Disease Branch of the NC Department of Health and Human Services. 
Team WNC meets with Rep. John Ager (D-115)
Meeting with Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D-119)
Team WNC meets with staff for Sen. Jim Davis (R-50)
Meeting with staff for Rep. Brian Turner (D-116)
Team WNC had the opportunity to speak with a number of state lawmakers and their staffs, including Reps. John Ager (D-115), Susan Fisher (D-114), Brian Turner (D-116), Joe Sam Queen (D-119) and Senator Jim Davis (R-50). WNCAP advocates also delivered informational materials to the offices of Reps. Chuck McGrady (R-117), Josh Dobson (R-85) and Senator Terry Van Duyn (D-49).
If you would like to add your voice to the chorus of North Carolinians advocating for Medicaid expansion and increased appropriations for Hepatitis C prevention and research, call or email your state legislators. Find out who represents you in Raleigh and how to contact them here.
Billboards and Postcards and Radio, Oh My!
Watch and Listen for Dining Out For Life Promotion
We appreciate all of our Participating Restaurants for contributing to HIV Prevention & Care in WNC. And we want every diner and potential diner to know that you are doing a great thing by giving back to our community. That's why, this year, we are drastically increasing our Dining Out For Life promotion. Be on the lookout (and listen-out) for our billboardsradio spots, and direct mail pieces over the next few weeks.
Drivers, bikers, and walkers throughout Asheville will see digital billboards that feature the new Dining Out For Life poster design (see above image). The billboards are strategically located at four main Asheville thoroughfares: Tunnel RoadMerrimon Avenue,Hendersonville Road, and Patton Avenue. If you're on a walk and happen to see one, snap a picture and post it on social media! Best not to do that while driving, however...
Beginning this Monday, March 25, dial in to the following radio stations to hear this promotion:
  • WQNQ Star 104.3 FM
  • WKSF Kiss Country 99.9 FM
  • WPEK ESPN Asheville 92.9 FM, 880 AM, 1400 AM
  • WWNC News Radio 570 AM
Thank you to iHeartMedia for generously donating $25,000 in free air time!
Also, be sure to check out Rewind 100.3 FM this Monday, April 1 at 8:52AM to hear WNCAP's own Antonio Del Toro discuss Dining Out For Life on air with Ken Ulmer from Breakfast with the 828. You can also stream the conversation online on March 27.
Finally, if you live or work in the 28801 zip code (downtown Asheville) keep your eyes peeled for the first ever Dining Out For Life direct mailing! The large and colorful double-sided postcard (see above images) should hit mailboxes the first week of April. Our direct mail campaign has two goals: first, to let people know about Dining Out For Life, and two, to recruit volunteer Ambassadors. If you receive one, take a picture and tell the world on social media. 
The more you talk about Dining Out For Life on your social media pages, the more people will dine out on April 25. Be sure to like/follow WNCAP on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, tag @wncap in your posts, like our Dining Out For Life Facebook Event, and use the hashtags #DineOutEndHIV and #WNCDOFL.
See And Be Seen
International Transgender Day of Visibility is 3/31
The International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual holiday celebrated around the world. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender & gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives. The holiday was founded in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people’s successes.

The Kids Are Alright
National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is 4/10
The creation of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a step toward acknowledging and addressing the needs of young people in the HIV and AIDS response. Each year, young activists in high schools and at colleges and universities across the country will use this day to organize and educate about HIV and AIDS. They will promote HIV testing, fight stigma, and start the necessary conversation we need to deal honestly and effectively with the challenges we face. NYHAAD will also provide a yearly date for all of us to hold our leaders responsible to their commitments and invest in realizing an AIDS-free generation.

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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
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