LGBTQ&A: Kevin Trimell Jones

Kevin Trimell Jones

Kevin Trimell Jones is the new national executive director of the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services. We speak with the Penn grad about living with HIV, combatting stigma of the virus nationally, and what tools the LGBTQ community can use to improve advocacy.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and raised in Detroit, Michihan. I was fortunate to have my grandmother living in our house. She was a strong woman. Around her, we were never allowed to say “I don’t care.” She showed us the worth of caring for everything and everyone — and she really tried to care for everyone. I get this from her. My very first job, around the age of 11, was delivering papers in our local community neighborhoods. I hated waking up at 5 a.m. on the weekends. It taught me a work ethic. My favorite work experience was during my time at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and having the opportunity to travel to Gaborone, Botswana, to work with their professors and graduate students on developing HIV prevention interventions in their local communities. This was my first trip to the continent. I’m single. My best fury friend is Lulu, a dog I rescued in D.C. in 2016. Read more »

Meet the Activist Who Protested Mazzoni With an HIV Meds Strike

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. Photography by Louie Ortiz-Fonseca.

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. Photography by Louie Ortiz-Fonseca.

Last Friday afternoon, after Mazzoni Center’s board of directors publicly reaffirmed its support of CEO/executive director Nurit Shein following a walkout by half of the nonprofit’s 138 full-time staffer members over concerns with her leadership, former Mazzoni employee and patient Abdul-Aliy Muhammad publicly vowed to refuse their HIV medication until she stepped down.

Just three days later, on Monday morning, Mazzoni announced a huge leadership shakeup — both Shein and board president Dr. Jimmy Ruiz had resigned. The organization has not commented on the reasons behind the board’s decision, but it would be hard to believe that Muhammad’s stance — which had already begun to gain national attention — had no part to play in the outcome. Read more »

Wistar Institute Gets $23M Grant to Find HIV Cure

HIV-infected H9 T-cell | Wikimedia Commons

HIV-infected H9 T-cell | Wikimedia Commons

The Philadelphia region is leading advanced trials in HIV research.

The Wistar Institute was recently awarded a $23 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to establish a five-year partnership of 30 leading HIV researchers who will work together to try and find a cure.

The Martin Delaney Collaboratories for HIV Cure Research grant will bring together a skilled team of investigators led by Luis Montaner, director of the HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory at The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center, and James L. Riley, research associate professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania of the HIV-1 Laboratory.

Read more »

Big News: Temple University Researchers Make Another Breakthrough in Hunt for AIDS Cure

It’s not every day that I get to deliver news this cool: Back in 2014, researchers at Temple University developed the technology to edit human cells and “snip out” HIV DNA. Now, in a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Temple have taken that technology even further, honing in on CD4+ T-cells, the cells that serve as the primary hosts for HIV-1 DNA. Using blood from human patients infected with HIV, they found that their technology not only eliminated the virus from CD4+ T-cells but also protected the cells against reinfection. And it did all of this without causing any damage to the cells.

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Read more »

Rogue Ex-Pharmacist May Have Exposed South Jersey Hospital Patients to HIV and Hepatitis

Shore Medical Center. Photo | Facebook

Shore Medical Center. Photo | Facebook

A New Jersey hospital has sent out letters to 213 patients to notify them that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV during their stay.

The warning came after it was discovered that an employee had allegedly stolen morphine from patients’ vials and replaced it with a saline solution. The fear is that patients may have been exposed to the ex-employee’s blood and thus contacted one of the diseases. Read more »

NATIONAL HEADLINES: Here’s How Social Media Reacted to Kathryn Knott’s Sentence

Kathryn Knott walks from the criminal justice center Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Philadelphia. Knott is charged with taking part in a violent attack on a gay couple.

Kathryn Knott walks from the criminal justice center Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Kathryn Knott’s sentence was big news around the country.

Kathryn Knott was trending on Twitter yesterday afternoon after being sentenced to five to 10 months in prison and two years of probation. Various national news sources have took an interest in the fact Knott is the daughter of a police chief, and social media commentators questioned the fairness of the verdict: Read more »

Commentary: Matt Lauer Gets a Failing Grade on Charlie Sheen’s HIV Interview

Sheen

Let’s get this out of the way: Charlie Sheen is no angel.

But the 50-year-old actor, who has become directly associated with a mental meltdown from several years ago that brought “winning” into our lexicon, certainly deserved better than his toxic interview with Today‘s Matt Lauer this morning about his HIV diagnosis. In short, Lauer played into a good number of the stereotypes associated with those living with the virus, and his overall tone did not help with public stigma that suggests that those who contract HIV have done some sort of morally corrupt or unethical action to get the virus. Read more »

Philadelphia NAACP Hosts HIV Training for Faith Leaders

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

A shocking statistic: According to The Black Church and HIV initiative, in Philadelphia, 63.3% of all people living with HIV/AIDS are African American. That’s why the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP is teaming up with Rev. Glen Spaulding of Deliverance Evangelistic Church to offer a training for faith leaders in Philadelphia this Thursday, June 18th. Read more »

Philanthropy Friday: AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week: AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, a public-interest law firm providing free legal assistance to people with HIV/AIDS and those affected by the epidemic.

AIDS Law Project's Messapotamia Lefae and Ronda Goldfein.

AIDS Law Project’s Messapotamia Lefae and Ronda Goldfein.

Who are you? My name is Messapotamia Lefae and I work as the administrative assistant to Ronda Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania (ALP).

When was AIDS Law Project founded? In 1988 to focus on AIDS-related discrimination cases. At that time, no laws protected people with HIV/AIDS from discrimination.

What services does ALP provide? Our office handles civil litigation matters over a wide range of practice areas, including AIDS-related discrimination, confidentiality, HIV testing policies, public benefits (including Social Security disability benefits, Medicaid, Medicare and welfare benefits), private health benefits and insurance coverage, housing advocacy, medical-related debt, wills, living wills and powers of attorney, and immigration. We educate the public about AIDS-related legal issues, train case management professionals to become better advocates for their HIV-positive clients, and we work at local, state and national levels to achieve fair laws and policies. Our senior lawyers have distinguished themselves such that policymakers, health care providers, and educators and other attorneys consult them for advice and technical assistance.

Read more »

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