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May 2, 2005

AIDS Walk New York turns 20 this spring and on Sunday, May 15, ASC's Team #0008 will join thousands of others in treading the 10-kilometer route that begins and ends at Central Park. Since 1986, GMHC has been organizing AIDS Walk New York to raise money for local HIV/AIDS services and increased awareness about the AIDS epidemic. This year, as in years past, ASC's team will proudly represent our efforts in this continuing struggle. To join ASC's team or to help our team members reach their fundraising goals, we invite you to visit our team page on the AIDS Walk Website. All sponsorships collected by Team #0008 will support ASC's services for people living with, at risk for, and affected by HIV/AIDS. We'll be there rain or shine!

May 2, 2005

ASC Poet Sherry P. inscribes a copy of Situations for ASC's Executive Director, Sharen I. Duke.

In mid-April, AIDS Service Center NYC and Barnes & Noble Booksellers Union Square teamed up for the third year in a row to celebrate National Poetry Month with an "ASC Voices" poetry reading.

Twelve poets from ASC's weekly Creative Writing Workshop dazzled a crowd of nearly 100 people with poems of uncompromising candor, power, and humor. Following the opening reading by guest poet Joan Larkin, the ASC workshop members shared their writings from the latest edition of ASC's literary magazine, Situations. Free copies of Situations were distributed at the event.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers has been a great friend to ASC—and the friendship continues to grow. Along with hosting our "ASC Voices" event at the Union Square store for the past three years, six additional Barnes & Noble stores in Manhattan distributed complimentary copies of Situations to customers during National Poetry Month. The participating stores include B&N Astor Place, B&N Citigroup Center, B&N Lincoln Center, B&N at 86th Street and Lexington Avenue, B&N at 86th Street between First and Second Avenues, and B&N at 82nd Street and Broadway. Our thanks to these Barnes & Noble Booksellers for recognizing the importance of these poets' writings and for helping ASC to spread the word about our work!

May 2, 2005

From March 7–11, AIDS Service Center NYC (ASC) hosted its fifth annual Treatment Education Week. More than 60 clients participated in one or more of the ten workshops held over the course of the event.

Originally, Treatment Education Week focused on providing information about the wide array of HIV medications and teaching participants how to overcome barriers to medical care. While these issues remain at the forefront, the event continues to evolve to reflect the myriad treatment issues that affect people living with HIV/AIDS today.

In addition to informative workshops on current and emerging treatment options, the event's organizers continually work to diversify and expand the curriculum. "Treatment updates will always be integral, but treatment is not just about taking medications," explains Ramona Cummings, ASC's Assistant Director of Prevention Services. "Treatment is also about lifestyle, environment, and quality-of-life issues. We work to enable our clients to make informed assessments with their doctors to choose a treatment plan that fits their lives."

This year's Treatment Education Week program included a presentation by Dr. Janice Curasi of St. Vincent's Medical Center entitled, "What are ‘Treatment Holidays' and Who Says When You Should Take One?". During the workshop, Dr. Curasi cited research supporting the importance of taking an individualized approach to deciding when and whether to suspend HIV treatment. Dr. Curasi also emphasized the importance of patients making their concerns known to their doctors and being actively involved in the decisions that directly affect them. Other workshops covered topics such as "Managing Wasting and Weight Loss through Nutritional Supplements," "What Does ‘Undetectable' Really Mean?" and "HIV Medications and Their Effects on Skin and Nails."

Throughout Treatment Education Week, ASC Peer Educators Darnell Robinson and Max Hernandez projected a PowerPoint timeline of HIV medications in the ASC reception area. The presentation cycled through the history and development of various medications, from AZT (released in 1987) to newer ones like Truvada (released in 2004). For each of the more than 20 medications listed, the presentation detailed common dosages, general descriptions, and side effects. "The timeline ends with ‘Coming Attractions,'" says Max Hernandez, "where we mention the ongoing development efforts toward an HIV vaccine. Between this and the continuing improvements in HIV meds, there's hope; there are still ways to conquer HIV. We wanted people to come away with that message."

ASC's Treatment Education Week received support from pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Gilead Sciences, Mom's Pharmacy, and Millennium Bio-Tech Pharmacy.

May 2, 2005

Join us in June for "Safer Sex In The City," an evening of music, entertainment, demonstrations, and displays that bring ASC's expertise in safer sex education and HIV risk reduction to the wider community. This ASC fundraiser will feature two celebrated New York DJs—D-Nice and DJ Red Alert—along with rousing entertainment, safer sex presentations and a silent auction featuring sex toys, lingerie, sexy sleepwear, and other items to pique the imagination. Beverages and hors d'oeuvres will be served .

The event will be held on Thursday, June 16, 2005, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Museum of Sex, located at 233 Fifth Avenue (at 27th Street in Manhattan). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, with higher levels of sponsorship available. To buy tickets and to find out how to support ASC's work through sponsorship or a donation of goods and services for this event, please visit our event page by clicking here, or contact ASC's Assistant Director of Marketing, Ernesta Pierre, at safersex@ascnyc.org or at 212-645-0875, extension 314.

May 2, 2005

Join us on Monday, May 16 for a celebration of achievement: ASC's 24th Peer Recovery Education Program (PREP) Graduation Ceremony.

Since 1991, ASC has provided core training on HIV education, outreach, and relapse prevention to enable people affected by HIV/AIDS and in recovery from drug or alcohol use to reach other community members at risk with culturally relevant information about harm reduction and health promotion. PREP is a unique program that empowers participants to take control over their lives by sustaining long-term recovery and developing a marketable skill set.

The upcoming PREP Graduation Ceremony will feature unforgettable testimonials from the men and women who have just completed the most recent PREP training cycle, plus a keynote address from a former ASC Peer graduate. These stories of personal triumph illuminate what "helping many, one by one" really means to us here at ASC. We hope you'll join us at this moving and memorable event!

The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. at ASC's main office on the fifth floor of 41 East 11th Street (between University Place and Broadway, in Manhattan). We look forward to seeing you there. For more information, contact ASC's Assistant Director of Marketing, Ernesta Pierre, at Ernesta@ascnyc.org or at 212-645-0875, extension 314.

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