"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
The Reunion Project was founded in 2015 by long-term HIV survivors 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 HIV survivors 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. They felt 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 summits consist of a mix of facilitated discussions, panels, and presentations led by key researchers, advocates, and long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS. With support from Bristol-Myers Squibb and TPAN, publisher of Positively Aware magazine, The Reunion Project has been to Chicago, Palm Springs, CA, Philadelphia, PA, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Cities for 2017 include Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
A National Organizing 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; Susan Wolfson, New York; Waheedah Shabbaz-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.