There are many ways to be a long-term survivor of HIV. As a welcoming and open network, The Reunion Project holds an inclusive view of HIV long-term survival:
• Many people who identify as long-term survivors have been living with HIV for 10 years or more.
• Others feel that their long-term survival is shaped by the experience of living with HIV since the time when there was no effective treatment.
• And others feel that their long-term survival experience is marked by going through different eras of their life—perhaps from being young adults to now being elders—while living with HIV.
• Some of our network members have been living with HIV for many decades and are still relatively young, because they have been living with HIV since birth. Others acquired HIV as young people, or later in life.
• We also welcome people who are not living with HIV to join our network or work groups as allies, many of whom have been involved or affected over the long-term.
In November, The Reunion Project hosted its first-ever webinar, Honoring Our Past, Envisioning Our Future. Facilitated by TRP Steering Committee member and national advocate, Vanessa Johnson, The Reunion Project shared highlights from the group's new Strategic Road Map and shared exciting plans for 2020. Click on the image below to view the webinar.
The Reunion Project was founded in 2015 by long-term survivors of HIV Matt Sharp and Jeff Berry, who recognized that there is an entire group of individuals who had survived the epidemic but in many ways have been left behind by the community that they helped to build. The Reunion Project provides a safe space for survivors of HIV to come together and honor the fact that even though they have weathered great adversity and tremendous loss, many have come through the experience with a certain degree of resilience. We feel these stories deserve to be told, and shared, to help those who may need help in finding their way back out of isolation, depression, or post-traumatic stress that came as a result of surviving the epidemic.
The Reunion Project hosts one-day summits around the country. The summits consist of a mix of facilitated discussions, panels, and presentations led by key researchers, advocates, and long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS. The Reunion Project has received support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Janssen, Merck, ViiV and Walgreens, and TPAN, publisher of Positively Aware magazine. The Reunion Project has been to Chicago, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Cities for 2019-2020 include Los Angeles and New Orleans.
The Founding Steering Committee led the group's efforts and included Sharp (San Francisco) and Berry (Chicago), along with Jeff Taylor, Palm Springs; Gregg Cassin, San Francisco; Chris Bartlett, Philadelphia; Waheedah Shabazz-El, Philadelphia; and Louis Spraggins, Chicago.
A new, expanded Steering Committee has been selected and will lead the group's efforts going forward.
The Reunion Project collective is proud to partner with TPAN in expanding our reach through Positively Aging, a large-scale program that helps innovate care for older adults living with HIV and connects peers to vital support, through the meaningful programming in cities around the country and with informative and inspirational outreach through Positively Aware magazine.
Join us on our closed Facebook group to take part in the conversation, and for posts about upcoming meetings and events.
Follow us on Twitter at @Reunion_Project
For more information on The Reunion Project email us.
The Reunion Project National Roundtable Forum, a community-led, diverse coalition of advocates who are survivors of HIV from across the U.S., gathered March 30–31, 2018 at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences in Rancho Mirage, California. Over the course of one-and-one-half days more than 50 advocates convened to develop a national HIV survivorship advocacy agenda.
The main objective of the Roundtable Forum was to come to a consensus regarding a Coalition of Survivorship, and to begin a process to build a sustainable and powerful movement.
This report summarizes the main findings of the meeting and the methods used.
Larry Bryant at DC Reunion Project: We Must Reinvigorate AIDS Fight: Mark S. King My Fabulous Disease
Aging with HIV focus of Chicago 2.0 Reunion Project event: WINDY CITY TIMES
Aging with HIV focus of upcoming Reunion Project event: WINDY CITY TIMES
The Needs, Priorities, and Future of Long-term Survivors: POSITIVELY AWARE
Long-Term HIV Survivors Gather This Weekend in South Florida: South Florida Gay News
Published on World AIDS Day 2016, “The Unintended Consequences of AIDS Survival,” a 24-page status report authored by Sharp with support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, calls attention to the lives and needs of people living with AIDS, particularly long-term survivors.
Read and download the report here.
Author Matthew Sharp, a 30-year AIDS survivor, was uniquely qualified to pen this particular survivor story as an eyewitness on the front lines in the AIDS fight. He is one of a handful of AIDS activists leading survivor mobilization efforts nationally with The Reunion Project.