For the first time, 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.
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 receives support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Merck, ViiV and Walgreens, and TPAN, publisher of Positively Aware magazine. The Reunion Project has been to Chicago, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Seattle. Cities for 2018 include Washington, D.C. and New Orleans.
In 2018 The Reunion Project convened its first National Roundtable Forum, a community-led, diverse coalition of survivor advocates from across the U.S. More than 50 advocates, researchers, and people living with HIV gathered March 30–31, 2018 at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences in Rancho Mirage, California, to discuss the needs and priorities of survivors of HIV and their allies. A full report of the meeting is now available.
A National Steering Committee leads the group's efforts and includes 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.
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.
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 28-year AIDS survivor, is 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, a series of ongoing town hall summits taking place around the country.