PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – June is both AIDS education and re-entry month.
Philadelphia FIGHT hosted an event this week at the Pennsylvania Convention Center that tackles both issues.
The Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare and Reentry Summit brought together roughly 1,100 impacted both by HIV and mass incarceration.
“From social workers and correctional officers that work in the jails to folks that work for the health department to folks that work with re-entry programs,” explains Hannah Zellman, director of Philadelphia FIGHT Institute of Community Justice.
She says the daylong conference featured incarcerated individuals — because 95-percent of prisoners come home — so protecting themselves on the inside from HIV and other sexually transmitted disease is paramount:
“Their health, their wellness, their ability to be successful in the community, deeply and widely impacts those of us on the outside.”
Clifford Williams works with ACT UP. He’s heterosexual and HIV positive, and wants men like him included in the conversation on prevention that he says focuses on gay, bi and trans men:
“We are stepping out the shadows of myth and misinformation and stepping out of the shadow and speak up.”
Beyond the Wall is just one of a number of AIDs education events sponsored by FIGHT this June. For a list, CLICK HERE.