by Thomas Clodfelter, THP Client and HIV Advocate
Advocacy Day is a day I look forward to because it gives people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) the opportunity to let our voices be heard. I know from experience that we must let our faces and voices be heard. We must let the stories of how our lives have been changed be heard, and we will continue to call on Congress and the Senate to keep funding available so that we can receive the care and medical treatment we need to live a long life. This is what Advocacy Day is about and I truly believe that when people actually hear and see the face of a man or woman who is living with HIV it changes their minds and truly gives them a new outlook on the situation.
HIV/AIDS affects us all and Advocacy Day gives we the people the right to let Congress know that they work for us. We need these funds and we are here to let you know that we will be heard and that we refuse to be neglected. Advocacy Day brings everyone together, black, white, Latino, LBGTQ, Christian, because this disease doesn’t have just one face, but affects people from all walks of life. Each year when Advocacy Day comes around, I love seeing everyone come together to address our concerns and needs. It’s energizing at this gathering to have the the opportunity to meet men and women who recently found out their status and have now become advocates speaking out on behalf of other PLWHA. I enjoyed being a representative of Triad Health Project and representing Greensboro, North Carolina. I am truly grateful to be able to attend this event and feel blessed to be with a great organization like Triad Health Project. I am also thankful for a great staff and the opportunity to contribute this reflection.