I was pleased to read that Councilman Corey O’Connor is the driving force behind a Task Force to focus on HIV and AIDS.
He’s joined by six local organizations, including Shepherd Wellness Center. Executive Director Scott Peterman had this to say about the committee:
“I hate to say it, but I believe that HIV and AIDS because of the stigma associated with it, it has become an invisible disease in many ways,” he said. “The misperception is that HIV and AIDS is something not everybody can get. It is not a gay disease. It has spread widely into the heterosexual and minority communities.”
The stigma is a serious issue. I might add that the myth about a divide between the black faith community and the LGBT community doesn’t help. There is some division, true, but there is also more unity than you might be aware. The amazing work of New Voices Pittsburgh is proof of that.
Let’s pay attention to the work of this Commission and kudos to Councilor O’Connor for launching this initiative.