Monthly Musings from THP's Executive Director  
 
"The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."

- Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Fall of Atlantis

 


 

It has been a tough couple of weeks here at THP and as I sit down to write this, I'm not really sure how to tell you about it. I just know that I feel that I should.

Last week, three people tested positive for HIV at testings at THP. In all the years that we've been doing our Monday night testings at THP, we have never identified that many new positives at one time and on one hand, I should feel satisfied that we are doing the work we're charged to do with our prevention and education efforts.
 

But I feel far from satisfied. I feel disappointed and discouraged. Three people who never lived in a world without HIV/AIDS and grew up hearing messaging about risk factors involved in acquiring the disease, still had unprotected sex. Three people, ranging in age from 20 to 37, now face life with a manageable but chronic disease that was 100% preventable.

I hope I don't sound preachy because that's not what we do at THP. We don't preach, we teach. We teach people how to protect themselves and their sexual partners. Some days it feels as if we are trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun.

We started our #TBT(Throw Back Thursday) Film Series at Geeksboro Coffeehouse and we screened "Longtime Companion" - one of the first feature films to depict the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic in the US.

The film ends with a few friends walking on the beach imagining what a world without HIV/AIDS would look like. One of them says wistfully, "I want to be there."

Addison Ore, 
Executive Director


 
So do I - but we have so much work still to do right here in Guilford County.


Thank you, as always, for standing with us, most especially when things are hard.

With gratitude,
 

 


 
Note: The three folks who tested positive at THP have been connected with medical care and two are now enrolled in our case management program.

Project Shimmy is Back!


Twisted Dance Collective invites you all to the 6th Annual Project Shimmy, a world dance showcase to benefit Triad Health Project. The show will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2013 at the Gail Bower Huggins Auditorium in the Odell Building on the campus of Greensboro College. Each year Project Shimmy helps to raise vital funding and awareness for Triad Health Project, in addition to providing the public with an opportunity to experience a variety of world dance styles. Tickets are available now at EventBrite.

Torque Bellydance (now retired) began Project Shimmy in 2008 as a way to help Triad Health Project meet the needs of individuals living with HIV / AIDS and their loved ones. "Bellydance is a style of dance that is often misunderstood by the public, and, unfortunately, so is HIV / AIDS," say Lynn Hoffman and Sarah Sills, former Torque troupe members and co-owners of Twisted Dance Studios. "When we heard of THP and its services, we felt it was a natural choice to have our show benefit this organization because of the misconceptions held about the dance and the disease. Hopefully, the funds and awareness we raise through this event can help THP to better serve their clients and address misconceptions about HIV / AIDS through the education and service programs they provide." 

The program features dance professionals from across North Carolina who perform a variety of Middle Eastern and world dance styles. Audience members can also purchase raffle tickets for prizes to be given away during the show.

Doors open at 7:00pm and the show begins at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door on the night of the show. Ticket prices are $20 for the general public; $10 for students (with ID); and $5 for children 12 and under. 

 

THP's #TBT Film Series

Thank you to those who joined us for the kickoff of the #TBT Film Series with the screening of "Longtime Companion" at Geeksboro on August 21st! It was a powerful and emotional experience to view this important film together. Special thanks to Pat Gibbons, Director of Beacon Place and THP Board Member, for leading us in a discussion of the early days of HIV/AIDS in America after the screening. 


 

JOIN US Thursday, September 18th at Geeksboro for the screening of Philadelphia

Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, is fired from his law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him. After Andrew is fired, in a last attempt for peace, he sues his former law firm with the help of a homophobic lawyer, Joe Miller. During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else on the gritty streets of the city of brotherly love, sheds his homophobia and helps Beckett with his case before AIDS overcomes him.

 

The show will start at 7 pm and admission is FREE. The first 25 tickets will be available for pick up at Geeksboro one week in advance and the other 25 tickets are first come, fist serve at the screening.

Triad Health Project will host a short discussion after the screening about the relevance of HIV/AIDS in the film. 
 

Please mark your calendar and invite your friends to the upcoming screenings in the #TBT Film Series:

 

September 18th- Philadelphia 
October 21st- And The Band Played On 
November 20th- RENT 
December 18th- The Lonely Heart

 

 

YOU DID THIS!

These were the shelves of our food pantry last week. We put out a plea on Facebook for help and you answered. You answered by not only opening up your pantries and your wallets, but you opened up your hearts to the 500+ clients at THP.  Thank You!

 

Much of these groceries have already been distributed to those who need them the most, but we are grateful for those of you who jumped in when you saw the need. 

 

The Piedmont Triad is the third highest community in the country for food insecurity. If you are able, please continue to support local food pantries, ours included.
 




 

Cooking with Ninevah

Last month, I shared my recipe for making Basil-Spinach Pesto, and described how it could be used to make a light sauce for pasta. There are many other uses for pesto and one of my favorites is to combine pesto with a little mayonnaise and a ranch-style salad dressing to create a delicious chicken salad. I don't usually list a brand name in my ingredient list, but Ken's Light Options Parmesan & Peppercorn dressing has one of the lowest sodium levels of all the major salad dressings and there is no added MSG as a flavor enhancer. I learned this after spending much time reading labels in the grocery store...but actually, the flavor of this dressing is so good, you'll never know that anything is "missing". When the pesto, mayonnaise and salad dressing are mixed with the chicken and chopped apples, the resulting chicken salad is slightly green...but amazingly good!


Apple-Basil Chicken Salad
makes 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp dried, minced onion
2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
tsp rubbed sage
tsp dried thyme leaves
tsp crushed, dried rosemary
tsp herbed salt blend
tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups water
(pre-cooked herb-roasted chicken from the market or deli can also be used)
3 Tbsp basil-spinach pesto
cup light mayo
Ken's Light Options Parmesan & Peppercorn Dressing
Fuji apple, washed, dried and finely diced (peel remains)

Directions:
Place the chicken breasts in a large sauce pan. Sprinkle the minced onion, parsley flakes, rubbed sage, thyme leaves, dried rosemary, herbed salt blend, and coarsely ground black pepper over the chicken breasts, then add the 2 cups of water. Bring the chicken breast mixture to a boil over medium heat, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to simmer the chicken mixture until the chicken can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 25 - 30 minutes. Remove the covered pan from heat and allow the chicken to cool in the pan approximately 15 minutes. After the chicken has cooled, remove the chicken from the broth mixture and chop the chicken into a inch dice. (Use a wire sieve or strainer to strain the herbs from the broth remaining in the pan and then refrigerate the broth in a container to use within 5 days. The broth can also be frozen.)
In a large bowl, blend the basil pesto, light mayo, and Parmesan Peppercorn dressing until smooth. Stir the diced apple into the dressing mixture and stir gently until blended. Gradually add the diced chicken to the apples and dressing mixture and use a spatula to fold the mixture together until all the chicken is blended with the diced apples and dressing.
Serve as a spread on sandwiches or add a scoop to mixed greens for a salad.


 

Check out our friend Ninevah in the August Issue of O. Henry Magazine (page 66)

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Join us for THP's 23rd Annual Winter Walk for AIDS and Inaugural 5K Run at UNCG on Sunday, December 7, 2014! 

There will be a timed 5K race portion and a 1 mile walk route for Winter Walk participants. Teams and individuals are encouraged to register online and raise funds for the programs at Triad Health Project that benefit those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in our community. 

For more information, visit www.triadhealthproject.com.

Mark's Mentionings
Mark Cassity, Director of Higher Ground
 You don't expect to get your spiritual advice from a hardward conglomerate, and yet there it was, clear as day, on my Lowe's receipt. "Never Stop Improving," it told me. Sounded like just the thing, all the way around. Read the right books, get smarter, stronger, faster, richer, shinier and then... well, keep going. Eventually it might occur to us that "Never Stop Improving" can just as well be translated "You'll Never Be Good Enough." And I notice my receipt doesn't give me a goal for my improvement; I'm apparently improving for improvement's sake. Be better because better is better.

And this is just a guess but I have a sense that improvement from Lowe's (and the culture's) point of view means adding.
More rooms, more stuff, more paint, more books, more polish.... You should get more because more is more.

Finally we take a few minutes off the carnival ride. We sit and wait. And if we sit and wait long enough we'll hear the small, clear voice that has been whispering all along. "You're enough."

Spiritually, growth seems to occur by subtraction far more than addition - subtracting some of the fear, posturing, childish and dangerous worldviews so that ultimately we become more and more of who we actually are. Note that the goal in "spiritual subtraction" is not to "improve" (with all its not-so-subtle tones of self-hatred) but rather to become more real. We do not need to be good so much as we need to be true.
Get the September Calendar
Welcome Adrienne!
Adrienne Mages
Adrienne Mages is from California and moved to Greensboro to be close to her parents and attend graduate school in the UNCG/A&T Joint Masters of Social Work Program. 

She's joined our Case Management team as an intern for the 2014-2015 school year. Adrienne is very interested in public policy and social justice issues and has already made a big impact to our THP Team and clients.

"I am grateful for this opportunity to work with THP's staff who are unmatched in their dedication and concern for the health of their clients and their community and to be a part of such an impactful, grassroots organization."
Positive

Part of our job as prevention staff at THP is to give results, and to link clients into care and treatment. We are blessed that we have a compassionate, well-trained staff who understand and can empathize with a person who is newly diagnosed with HIV. It never gets easier. It is only something that can be handled in the moment, and then the next moment, and the moment after that.

 

Kevin Varner, Director of Prevention and Education

Having three HIV positive results in the past month is a blow to our family at THP. When a client hears those three initials, time slows down and thought breaks the sound barrier. We empathize with those for whom questions like "what happens now" and "how am I going to deal with this" are blanks to be filled with something other than fear and uncertainty. It saddens me and scares me when the same questions arise just as fiercely and with the same sharp fangs as they did in the early 1980s-a decade when the blanks couldn't be filled with anything other than uncertainty. It makes me angry that people are still testing positive in our community. As a man living with HIV, I somehow feel responsible, like I could have done more. It doesn't make any sense, but then, neither does HIV when we are first diagnosed.

 

We make sense of HIV later. We talk, we connect, we link to care, we hold tight and fast, we support, we share, we stand up and move. Eventually, we lower our viral loads to the point of suppression, we stay diligent about taking our meds, and we sift through it until we find some hidden nuggets of grace, acceptance, forgiveness and love. We realize that we are writing new stories, and filling in blanks with new words based in strength. I have faith that the three individuals who tested positive this month will become authors of their own stories and thrive in spite of HIV. That's how we live a positive life. 

Community Justice Social

The Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro is hosting a Community Justice Social Fair on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 3-6PM at 400 W Radiance Drive.


 This is a family-friendly event with food trucks, music, activities, and information on local organizations and programs who are doing great work in the community. There will be opportunities to discover ways to become more involved in the local social justice movement.


 We are honored to be among the organizations invited to be there and we hope to see you there!


 

Click here to access the full flyer

CANpaign Kickoff


 Help the United Way of Greater High Point fight hunger in our community and start the 2014 United Way of Greater High Point Campaign with the 5th Annual CANpaign Kickoff Food Drive!

 

Check out the full 2014 CANpaign flyer!

                           

                                                                   Greensboro                                                                        High Point

                                                         801 Summit Avenue                                                         620 English Road

                                                              P.O. Box 5716                                                                     P.O. Box 616

                                                    Greensboro, NC 27435                                                     High Point, NC 27262

                                                           (336) 275-1654                                                                (336) 884-4116

                                                                                               

                                                                                               www.triadhealthproject.com