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January 26, 2009

A highly respected journal of AIDS/HIV-related news has spotlighted ASC's collaborations with medical providers as a model for providing comprehensive services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The December 2008 issue of AIDS Alert featured a Q&A with Sharen Duke, ASC's Executive Director/CEO. In a time of shrinking resources, she explained, collaborations between community-based agencies and medical providers help maximize HIV/AIDS services and promote connection to care.

As a community-based partner to several New York City hospitals and health centers, ASC promotes HIV medication adherence, retention in HIV primary care, and case management services. To learn more, download the AIDS Alert article.

Keep supporting ASC's great work.

January 26, 2009

Job readiness training has been one of ASC's most critical services for nearly a decade; training leads to skills and self-confidence, which leads to financial stability.

We are deeply disappointed to learn that Governor David Paterson now plans to eliminate funding for this program.

All of us recognize that dramatic cuts to the New York State budget are inevitable. But the decision to cut funding for programs that help disadvantaged people find jobs is counterproductive -- and could prove disastrous for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In 2008, State funds let us expand classes aimed at offering a way out of poverty and despair—computer literacy, job-seeking skills, financial literacy. You can understand how important these programs are, and we're asking for your help in speaking out in support of these services.

Tell Governor Paterson that people living with HIV/AIDS need more opportunities for employment, not fewer—especially in tough times like these. Send a message to Governor Paterson. Urge him to fully restore the HIV Welfare-to-Work Program in the Executive Budget so that organizations like ASC can provide job training and workplace readiness services to people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable populations.

The Obama presidency is bringing a renewed sense of hope nationwide. The President's economic stimulus proposals highlight the vital importance of job training and workforce development programs to get more people back on the road to self-sufficiency.

Photo: David Nager/ASCNYC

January 26, 2009

Warm up your winter with a dose of inspiration. Join us for an evening of extraordinary readings by participants in ASC's Creative Writing Workshop. Our talented poets will share their writings from the latest issue of ASC's literary magazine, Situations, you'll receive a copy as a gift from ASC at the event.

At the same Barnes and Noble store in Tribeca, ASC will take part in a book fair the weekend of February 20–22. All three days, the store will donate a portion of proceeds from every sale to ASC, so bring your book and gift "wish list" and help support our vital work.

For more information, contact Anne West-Church at anne@ascnyc.org.

Photo: David Nager/ASCNYC

January 26, 2009

The training I got in ASC's PREP program is helping me save lives at my new job today.

In 2004, I was at an in-patient treatment community when a friend told me about ASC's Peer Recovery Education Program (PREP). I joined PREP and learned a lot of things I wasn't aware of before, about safer sex, HIV, hepatitis C, and harm reduction. PREP was a wonderful experience—ASC did a good job of training me. When I graduated from PREP, ASC gave me many opportunities as a Peer Educator.

As an ASC Peer, I did educational presentations for people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS at health centers, drug treatment programs, and transitional housing facilities all over New York City. I made presentations on TB, safer sex, and harm reduction. It made me feel proud of myself to go into the community and share information I thought was important for the community to know.

All that time, I got so much support from my ASC mentor, and from the staff and Peers at ASC. They stood by my side and believed in me.

In 2007, all the work I'd done at ASC opened the door to a great job as an Outreach Worker/Health Educator at St. Vincent's Hospital. I work in the Maintenance In Care Program, helping to bring HIV-positive patients who have been lost to follow-up back into the health care system. I make home visits, provide education and counseling, and encourage these patients to come back to the hospital and get the medical care they need.

I've brought more than 200 patients back into care since April 2007. There's no amount of money in the world that could make me as happy as I feel when I do this work and know that I am basically saving someone's life. Many of the people I talk to are off their medications, involved with substance abuse, and very ill. Some of them would have died if they didn't get connected back into health care. So I'm very proud of what I do.

I got the job at St. Vincent's because I was prepared for the work 110% due to my experience as a Peer Educator at ASC. I had all the requirements for the job, and the people I work for are happy with my performance. They know that when they send me into the field, I'm going to bring back results. ASC played a major part in where I am today by giving me information, training, support, and respect to help me get my life back together and do something positive for my community.

Photo: David Nager/ASCNYC

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