N.C. conference at WSSU contemplates HIV/AIDS advocacy

N.C. conference at WSSU contemplates  HIV/AIDS advocacy
October 08
00:00 2015

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

On Saturday, Oct. 3, the fourth HIV/AIDS Advocacy Conference was held in Winston-Salem, designed to bring people from diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives together to discuss how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has impacted their lives and how to move forward.

The conference was on the campus of Winston-Salem State University and was sponsored by the NC AIDS Action Network and the NC Harm Reduction Coalition.

Lee Storrow, executive director of NC AIDS Action Network, said it is important that the community is educated on HIV/AIDS because so many people are still dying.

The American South has the most people living and dying of HIV/AIDS in the United States.

“This epidemic continues to be a major challenge for North Carolina,” said Storrow. “It’s estimated that 36,300 people are living with HIV/AIDS in our state.”

According to Storrow 1,500 new cases are diagnosed each year in North Carolina.

This years conference featured a number of workshops and open panel discussions that covered a number of topics including how to effectively interact with policymakers, and understanding how HIV and heroin overdose epidemics are intertwined.

Panelist included members of the NC Harm Reduction Conference, the NC Justice Center, Working America and the Latino Commission on AIDS.

A number of attendees work full time or volunteer at HIV/AIDS nonprofit organizations in the area. During the conference they were able to gain knowledge on how issues such as syringe access and the Medicaid coverage gap affect the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The conference also held a number courses that discussed ways to improve nonprofit organizations such as reaching individuals through social media.

Jennifer Jones, digital strategist for UNC-TV, led a course during the conference that gave those who attended tips to reach more people.

According to Jones, women are 40 percent more likely to support a nonprofit organization if it has a social media presence.

“When working for a nonprofit, social media plays a big role because you can reach out to people at all times of the day,” said Jones. “It’s simple but effective.”

”The HIV/AIDS Advocacy Conference is a place to connect grow and inspire the growing network and to make lasting policy changes for those living with HIV/AIDS in North Carolina.” Storrow said.

For more information on the NC AIDS Action Network visit


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