Erie County HIV Task Force (57 Articles with 84,135 total views)

The Erie County HIV Task Force is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection.

June, 2024

7th Annual HIV Awareness Walk

7th Annual HIV Awareness Walk
On Saturday, May 18, 2024, the Erie County HIV Task Force held the 7th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk. The Erie County HIV Task Force is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone's right. This year's awareness walk also took place on the annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. This day is focused on the potential of a future where a vaccine is introduced to the world to prevent the spread of HIV altogether. This year's event returned to Perry Square and enjoyed a lovely turnout, where participants enjoyed educational materials and testing opportunities via the PA Thrive Partnership mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also could take available prevention materials from the task force members Community HealthNet and the Erie County Department of Health. For more information on local services, testing, and free condoms, visit the Erie County HIV Task Force at ECHIV.ORG or follow their Twitter account @EriePAHIV and like their Facebook page.
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May, 2024

Sat May 18 HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk

Sat May 18 HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk
The Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 7th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Saturday, May 18th. We will meet at the stage in East Perry Square, 575 State Street, Erie, PA, at 11 AM. Step off is at 11:30 AM. We will walk around North and South Park Row circling Perry Square and everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise HIV awareness. PA Thrive Partnership is providing on-site HIV testing. All ages are welcome and the event is child and pet friendly. (Please be prepared to clean up after your own pets.) People participating as organizations are welcome to represent their group/organization. If you don't wish to walk the entire route, you are welcome to join us at any point along the sidewalk around Perry Square.
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January, 2024

World AIDS Day Observance Held Dec 1st

World AIDS Day Observance Held Dec 1st
On Friday, December 1, 2023, the Erie County HIV Task Force [ECHTF] presented this year's World AIDS Day Memorial Program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium inside the Blasco Public Library at 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507. Speakers included Erie County Department of Health Director Erin Mrenak, Erie County staff member Gary Snyder, Adagio Health staff member Andi Fair, and PA Thrive Partnership staff member Sonny Concepcion. In addition to speakers and video segments, one panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display, made possible by PA Thrive Partnership.
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December, 2023

Erie County HIV Task Force Hosts World AIDS Day Program Dec 1

Erie County HIV Task Force Hosts World AIDS Day Program Dec 1
On Friday, December 1, 2023, the Erie County HIV Task Force [ECHTF] will present this year's World AIDS Day program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium inside the Blasco Library at 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507. Doors will open at 5:30 pm, and the program begins at 6 pm. This year's focus is on celebrating the lives improved by 'ART' in the Erie region. Collaborating together, the "I am a Work of ART" project is bringing together local providers and clients to show the public about treatment and successes in living with HIV. The word ART this year has a dual meaning. As a medical term, ART is an acronym for Anti-Retroviral Therapy - a combo of meds taken to make HIV undetectable, which creates no risk of transmission to others. ART also represents creativity and imagination through various forms of expression. The ECHTF is collaborating with the Erie County Department of Health, Community Health Net, PA Thrive Partnership, and Journey to a Trauma Informed Life to bring ART to this year's World AIDS Day event.
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November, 2023

Art Therapy Sessions for World AIDS Day Event

Art Therapy Sessions for World AIDS Day Event
For this year's World AIDS Day Memorial Event on December 1st, the Erie County HIV Task Force is excited to announce a collaboration with PA Thrive Partnership and Journey to a Trauma Informed Life. This collab is bringing together these great local community resources as part of a new project for the event on World AIDS Day. Erie County residents are invited to participate in the ‘More Than a Quilt' open art therapy sessions being held at Journey's office [201 W 11th St, Erie PA 16501] on Mondays October 30th and November 6th from 12pm to 2pm. The Art therapy sessions are an open space for people to process the impact that HIV / AIDS has had on their lives. Anyone who is living with HIV or has been impacted through HIV / AIDS are encouraged to attend one or both sessions. Creations from these sessions will be on display during the World AIDS Day observances and materials are provided at no cost to participants. For more information on participating, call (833)4UR-JRNY and speak with the staff at Journey to a Trauma Informed Life. For additional info on the World AIDS Day event, visit the Erie County HIV Task Force at ECHIV.ORG or contact us at 814-315-3375 or admin@echiv.org.
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Community Spotlight #11: Erie County HIV Task Force

Community Spotlight #11: Erie County HIV Task Force
The Erie County HIV Task Force is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Formed in 2014 by Laura Beckes and Sylvia Holland at the Erie County Health Department, the group has been bringing together Erie County volunteers to increase the awareness of HIV, its treatment, and prevention for our residents. Groups involved have included Adagio Health, Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie, Community Health Net, Edinboro University, Erie Gay News, Erie VA Medical Center, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Guadenzia, LECOM, MidAtlantic AIDS Education Training Center, NWPA Medical Reserve Core, NWPA Pride Alliance, PA Thrive Partnership, SafeNet, TransFamily, UPMC Hamot, and Urban Ministries.
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June, 2023

6th Annual HIV Awareness Walk

6th Annual HIV Awareness Walk
On Monday, May 15, 2023, the Erie County HIV Task Force held the 6th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone's right. This year's awareness walk was located at Perry Square in downtown Erie PA. Participants enjoyed educational materials, refreshments and testing opportunities via the PA Thrive Partnership mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also received complimentary gift bags of materials from the task force as well as event sponsors Adagio Health, Community HealthNet, the Erie County Department of Health, SafeNet, and the Northwest Pennsylvania Tobacco Coalition. Public Health Staff were on hand for participants to ask questions and receive additional information regarding services in the region. For more information on local services, testing, and free condom, visit the Erie County HIV Task Force at ECHIV.ORG or follow their Twitter account @EriePAHIV and like their Facebook page.
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May, 2023

HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk on May 15

HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk on May 15
The Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 6th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Monday, May 15. We will meet at the stage in West Perry Square, 575 State Street, Erie PA at 5 PM. We will walk around North and South Park Row circling Perry Square and everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise HIV awareness. PA Thrive Partnership is providing on-site HIV testing. All ages are welcome and the event is child and pet friendly. (Please be prepared to clean up after your own pets.) People participating as organizations are welcome to represent their group/organization. If you don’t wish to walk the entire route, you are welcome to join us at any point along the sidewalk around Perry Square.
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April, 2023

Come Join the HIV Task Force

Come Join the HIV Task Force
If you're interested in learning more about the HIV prevention and treatment options in Erie County, or would like to volunteer with various outreach efforts, even help with planning HIV/AIDS events locally, consider joining the Erie County HIV Task Force [ECHTF]. The ECHTF is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection in Erie County, Pennsylvania. We are the not the first group to pursue these efforts, but the current version of previous groups that have existed in Erie County over the past 30 plus years. The ECHFT was formed in 2014 by the Erie County Health Department and has been bringing together Erie County volunteers to increase the awareness of HIV, its treatment, and prevention for our residents. To learn more about our activities or submit questions/comments, contact us at 814-315-3375 or admin@echiv.org.
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March, 2023

News on HIV Vaccine Trials

News on HIV Vaccine Trials
Last month we touched on why there hasn't been a vaccine for HIV yet. But work is being done to develop and test potential ways to combat the spread of HIV. A proof of concept found in a recent study could be the first step toward a potential vaccine. This vaccine, named eOD-GT8, is being developed between Scripps Research Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the US Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and others. Moderna is involved with the next stage of the trial due to their mRNA vaccine technology [used in SARS-CoV-2]. With a HIV exposure, this vaccine could kick off a flood of immune cells carrying antibodies to neutralize the virus by blocking a specific part of the HIV envelope protein necessary for entering CD4 cells.
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February, 2023

HIV Vaccine Challenges

HIV Vaccine Challenges
It's been over four decades since HIV was reported in the US. Since then, many have asked 'Why isn't there a cure or a vaccine for HIV?' While there are vaccine trials underway [more on that next month], understanding the difficulty of discovering one is important to the future of Ending the HIV Epidemic. Among the viruses our bodies fight off, HIV is unique due to its ability to avoid creating an immune system response to end or contain infection. Most viruses produce an immune response which clears the body of the infection, sometimes without medication needed. Think of how with a cold or the flu, we experience symptoms of our immune system fighting the virus and eliminating it; such as a fever, body aches, etc. While it has been documented that very few people in the world have managed to do this to HIV and not using antiretrovirals, most individuals living with HIV require life-long medication therapy.
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January, 2023

World AIDS Day Program Hosted by Erie County HIV Task Force

World AIDS Day Program Hosted by Erie County HIV Task Force
On Thursday, December 1, 2022, the Erie County HIV Task Force [ECHTF] presented this year’s World AIDS Day program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium inside the Blasco Public Library at 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507. Speakers included City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember, Erie County staff member Gary Snyder, Adagio Health staff member Andi Fair, Community Health Net staff member Kelly Kruize, and PA Thrive Partnership staff member Sonny Concepcion. Local news coverage was by Fox 66 News. In addition to speakers and video segments, one panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display, made possible by PA Thrive Partnership.
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December, 2022

Erie County HIV Task Force Presents World AIDS Day Program on Dec 1

Erie County HIV Task Force Presents World AIDS Day Program on Dec 1
On Thursday December 1, 2022, the Erie County HIV Task Force [ECHTF] will present this year's World AIDS Day program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium inside the Blasco Library at 160 East Front Street, Erie PA 16507. Doors will open at 5:30pm followed by the program beginning at 6pm. This year's focus is on achieving equity for treatment and testing in the Erie region. The program will include a memorial segment for those no longer with us due to HIV / AIDS. If you would like a loved one to be recognized, you can submit their name via email to Gary Snyder, the chair of the Erie County HIV Task Force at gsnyder@eriecountypa.gov. Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be loaned for display at the event as part of a small portion of the world's largest mobile visual project which recognized over 100,000 lives ended prematurely by HIV. Red ribbons for awareness will be provided to wear in conjunction with red ribbons with names written upon them will be displayed on the library lobby windows for the month of December.
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PA HIV Planning Group 5-Year Plan Submitted to CDC

PA HIV Planning Group 5-Year Plan Submitted to CDC
Throughout the 2022 year, the Pennsylvania HIV Planning Group (HPG) [a collaboration between stakeholders and the PA Department of Health (PADOH)] worked toward developing the new 2022-2026 Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan. This document is a comprehensive plan presented by PADOH to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as guidelines for the work to be completed in the coming years. The Integrated Plan has built off of decades of work by many PA residents to improve the lives of persons living with HIV along with reducing HIV infections within the commonwealth. Between September and November, provided the new plan for review internally and HPG received notice that the new five-year plan has been submitted to the CDC prior to the December 9th deadline.
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Wolf Signs HB 103 Against HIV Advocates Pleas

Wolf Signs HB 103 Against HIV Advocates Pleas
The first week of November 2022, PA Governor Tom Wolf signed a new law making it a felony to pass on a communicable disease when individuals 'should have known' the already had it. The law, known as HB 103, punishes people with 7 years in prison and $15,000 in fines for 'expelling' saliva, blood, or another bodily fluid onto a police officer. This law also charges people with a second-degree felony if they knew or 'should have known' they had a communicable disease after transmission to another person. The offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. Communicable diseases under this new law would include HIV as well as hepatitis, influenza, chickenpox, and COVID-19. Yes, if you have COVID-19 and do not know it but infect another person unintentionally, you could be in prison for a decade. Got your attention now?
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November, 2022

World AIDS Day Event on December 1

World AIDS Day Event on December 1
Save the date to join community members on Thursday December 1st at the Raymond M. Blasco Library’s H.O. Hirt Auditorium for our World AIDS Day program. Doors open at 5:30pm with program beginning at 6:00pm followed by a refreshment social afterward. The event is open to the public for free. Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display along with speakers discussing HIV in Erie County. Memorial red ribbons will be displayed at the library thru all of December and guests are welcome to submit names ahead of time or provide them at the event that evening. For details and questions, call the chair of the task force, Gary Snyder at 814-451-6786. We’re looking forward to you joining us
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September, 2022

Give us your feedback regarding HIV prevention and care in Pennsylvania

Give us your feedback regarding HIV prevention and care in Pennsylvania
If you or someone you love has been affected by HIV, the PA Department of Health and the HIV Prevention and Care Project at the University of Pittsburgh needs your input.
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July, 2022

5th Annual HIV Awareness Walk

5th Annual HIV Awareness Walk
On Saturday May 21, 2022, the Erie County HIV Task Force held the 5th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk. The Erie County HIV Task Force is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone's right. This year's awareness walk enjoyed a new location as Adagio Health of Erie on Peach Street served as the host site for the Erie High residential are. Participants enjoyed educational materials, refreshments and testing opportunities via the Pa Thrive Partnership mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also received complimentary gift bags of materials from the task force as well as event sponsors Adagio Health, Central Outreach Wellness Center Erie, Community HealthNet, the Erie County Department of Health, Erie Gay News, Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, and SafeNet. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and Public Health Staff were on hand for participants to ask questions and receive additional information regarding COVID-19, and the services of Nicotine Free Northwest PA plus other Erie County HIV Task Force partners. For more information on local services, testing, and free condom, visit the Erie County HIV Task Force at ECHIV.ORG or follow their Twitter account @EriePAHIV and like their Facebook page.
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Infection Risks Increasing for Sexually Active Men

Infection Risks Increasing for Sexually Active Men
Let's talk about sex. But we need to think beyond the usual bump and grind hazards. Men that are sexually active are being infected at higher rates for various diseases beyond HIV. For example, Erie County in the past year has seen increases in Gonorrhea and Syphilis among the MSM [Men having Sex with Men] residents. However sexually transmitted diseases are not the only things guys are coming into contact with these days. Perhaps you've heard about the monkeypox outbreak that is happening around the world. In May of 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began informing the public of multiple cases of monkeypox - a very rare disease typically associated with international travel or importing animals from outside the US. The cases reported recently [with one case in Pennsylvania] have included 'people who self-identify as men who have sex with men.' While it is not clear how they were exposed, being aware of the potential for exposure and infection is key in making our health a priority. The incubation period for Monkeypox ranges from 7 to 17 days. The illness begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, a general feeling of discomfort, and exhaustion. Typically, within 1 to 3 days after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash of raised fluid-filled bumps, often first on the face but sometimes initially on other parts of the body, lasting 2 to 4 weeks. The CDC recommends JYNNEOSTM (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex), an attenuated live virus vaccine, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox. Contact your personal care doctor to set up an appointment for your vaccination. To learn more about Monkeypox and Sex, check out this link/PDF: https://bit.ly/3x5TYDs
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June, 2022

Erie County HIV Task Force Updates

Erie County HIV Task Force Updates
Tis the season as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, various local groups and entities have been updating themselves. The Erie County HIV Task Force recently introduced a new logo in May in conjunction with their new FreeC2U program where Erie County residents can receive a dozen condoms and lube for free mailed privately to their home. Plus the HIV Task Force has updated their social media handles to 'EriePAHIV' on Facebook and Twitter. Keep an eye out for more information regarding HIV news and activities by following them online and visiting echiv.org. Have questions or interested in joining? Contact Gary the Erie County HIV Task Force Chair at 814-315-3375 or admin@echiv.org.
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HIV Task Force Launches FreeC2U

HIV Task Force Launches FreeC2U
The Erie County HIV Task Force is excited to announce the start of a FREE home mailing program where Erie County residents can receive safe sex materials by ordering online at condoms.echiv.org. The COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the lack of accessibility for our community to access condoms when the existing free condom distribution sites were unavailable. Residents 13 years of age and above can visit the online website to select their preference of a dozen free internal or external condoms. Each home mailer pack is sent without indicating the contents to honor your privacy. Along with the condoms, each package includes lube packets, instructions, and print information about local testing/treatment sites as well as how to receive a free HIV home test. Supplies are provided by the funding from the CDC and inventory by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Visit condoms.echiv.org to order your free dozen today. For more information, contact the Erie County HIV Task Force Chair at 814-315-3375 or admin@echiv.org.
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May, 2022

HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on May 21

HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on May 21
The Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 5th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Saturday, May 21. We will meet in the parking lot of Adagio Health, 3530 Peach Street, Erie PA at 12 PM. We will walk around the Erie High School neighborhood and everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise HIV awareness. All ages are welcome and the event is child and pet friendly. (Please be prepared to clean up after your own pets.) People participating as organizations are welcome to represent their group/organization. If you don’t wish to walk the entire route, you are welcome to join us at any point along the route.
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April, 2022

FDA Authorizes First Condom for Anal

FDA Authorizes First Condom for Anal
On February 23rd this year the US FDA made headlines that gave people pause and some to scratch their heads. 'A condom can be used for anal sex'… Surely the Food and Drug Administration is aware that condoms have been used by the public for anal sex for quite some time now, right? In fact, they have been aware of this use but the news is about something a little different. Specifically, three types of condoms from one manufacturer/brand have been approved for anal. Prior to this announcement, the FDA had not officially cleared or approved condoms specifically for anal intercourse. How could this be? Well, there's some backstory here to help us understand why the authorization is actually an important step in advancing the use of condoms.
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March, 2022

New Phase 1 Trial for HIV Vaccine

New Phase 1 Trial for HIV Vaccine
It's been over 40 years since the first cases of HIV were reported here in the United States, and scientific advances are pushing toward more breakthroughs in HIV prevention. While there have been significant improvements in care for persons with HIV, prevention continues to be a challenge. COVID-19 brought to the forefront decades of research and work done to address not only HIV / AIDS but other diseases as well. For many people, mRNA is a new concept yet it was discovered in the 1960s. In the 1990s the first mRNA vaccine for influenza was tested. Jump ahead to 2020 with over two and a half decades of continuous research, the COVID-19 global pandemic presents a prime opportunity to utilize a new instrument in the toolkit of mitigating a global health crisis. mRNA vaccines have proven they are effective and just might herald a new chapter in health prevention, specifically for HIV.
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February, 2022

Anonymous Partner Notification

Anonymous Partner Notification
You get the results from your regular HIV and STI screening. This time it's different. You're informed a test came back positive. And while it's treatable, you realize someone passed on their infection. You get treatment at the local clinic and they ask if you have informed your recent partners. Maybe they didn't know. Heck, you had no idea. The staff explain this is called asymptomatic, meaning no symptoms appear. But you're not really sure who was source. That's the rub. You can't tell a specific person. And even if you knew who it might be, maybe they'll judge you. Sure, the staff explain that nearly everyone has exposures to all kinds of infectious diseases. But this is different. You're the one that has to tell them. And while it would have been nice to get a heads up before a routine test, now you're supposed to be the responsible one?
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January, 2022

40 Years of HIV Progress Recognized on World AIDS Day

40 Years of HIV Progress Recognized on World AIDS Day
On Wednesday, December 1, the Erie County HIV Task Force presented the 2021 World AIDS Day Memorial observance program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium in the Blasco Public Library at 160 E Front St, Erie PA. The program included pre-recorded video segments by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, and others. In-person remarks were provided by Erie City Mayor Joe Schember, Director of Erie County Department of Health Melissa Lyon, Community Health Net Ryan White Nurse Care Manager Kelly Kruize, and Adagio Health Nurse Practitioner Andromeda Fair. Two blocks of panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt were on display at the library, one inside the main entrance and one on stage during the program. The blocks were maintained and made possible by the staff and support of the Northwest Alliance of Clarion University.
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December, 2021

Erie County HIV Task Force World AIDS Day Event at Blasco Library on December 1

Erie County HIV Task Force World AIDS Day Event at Blasco Library on December 1
On Wednesday December 1, 2021, the Erie County HIV Task Force will present this year's World AIDS Day program at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium inside the Blasco Library, 160 East Front Street, Erie PA 16507. Program begins at 5:15pm. Frontier Park, Erie PA. This year marks the milestone of 40 years since the first HIV cases were reported here in the United States. Earlier this year the '40 Years of Progress' theme was introduced to look back on four decades of research, advocacy, and ground work accomplished to date. Since 1981, Erie County has been affected by HIV in personal and community wide ways. The program will reflect on those individuals no longer with us due to HIV / AIDS. If you would like a loved one to be recognized, you can submit their name to the Erie County HIV Task Force via email to Gary Snyder, the EC HIV Task Force Chair - gsnyder@eriecountypa.gov. Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display for attendees to see a small portion of the world's largest mobile visual project that recognizes over 100,000 lives ended prematurely by HIV. Red ribbons for HIV / AIDS Awareness will be provided and participants can enjoy refreshments as well as educational opportunities.
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November, 2021

ECHTF Walks for HIV Awareness

ECHTF Walks for HIV Awareness
On Monday September 27, 2021, the Erie County HIV Task Force held the 4th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk at Frontier Park, Erie PA. The ECHTF is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection. With the COVID-19 pandemic last year, testing and treatment services were limited for HIV and STIs across the nation as well as Erie County. In 2021, significant increases have been reported in HIV / AIDS and STI cases overall. Communicable diseases including HIV/STIs are preventable with education and access to medications, prophylactics, and services. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone’s right. This year’s awareness walk also welcomed the recent addition of Central Outreach Wellness Center of Erie as local health center for the LGBTQIA community. Central Outreach supplied participants with free walk t-shirts and testing opportunities via their mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also received complimentary gift bags of materials from the task force as well as event sponsors Adagio Health, SafeNet, Community HealthNet, the Erie County Department of Health, Erie Gay News, and the Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance. Public Health Staff were on hand for participants to ask questions and receive additional information regarding COVID-19, and the services of Nicotine Free Northwest PA and Adagio Health.
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World AIDS Day - 40 Years Program

World AIDS Day - 40 Years Program
The public is welcome to join the Erie County HIV Task Force on December 1st for this year's World AIDS Day memorial program. This year's event will include reflections on the past 40 years of the HIV epidemic and the effect it has had on the Erie community. The event will be held in the Hirt Auditorium at the Raymond M. Blasco M.D. Memorial Library at 160 East Front Street, beginning shortly after 5pm. The Erie County HIV Task Force asks the community to wear red ribbons on December 1st this year in support and memory of our loved ones no longer with us due to HIV / AIDS. For additional details, contact Gary Snyder with the Erie County Department of Health; gsnyder@eriecountypa.gov or 814-451-6786.
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September, 2021

Join the Erie County HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Sep 27

Join the Erie County HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Sep 27
The Erie County Department of Health and members of the Erie County HIV Task Force will host the 4th Annual Erie County HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at 6 p.m. Walkers will gather at the LEAF Education Center / Arboretum Building at Frontier Park for the approximate 1.5-mile walk. We invite all to walk and help to raise awareness about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Participants can enjoy refreshments, testing, and education opportunities. The first 50 people get a free t-shirt!
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January, 2020

World AIDS Day Recognition Program on December 2

World AIDS Day Recognition Program on December 2
On Monday, December 2, the Erie County HIV Task Force presented a program for World AIDS Day at Blasco Public Library, 160 East Front Str, Erie PA. Joy Henry, Disease Intervention Specialist Chair for Erie County Department of Health served as moderator. Erie City Mayor Joe Schember spoke about HIV effects. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper gave an overview on HIV, and pointed out that the HIV cases per capita were lower in Erie County than the state and national averages, crediting the work of Erie County HIV Task Force partners. Sonny Concepcion, High Impact HIV Prevention Specialist at Northwest Alliance, gave a history of the AIDS Quilt. Panels from the AIDS Quilt have been displayed in Erie as far back as the late 90's. Andi Fair, nurse practitioner at Adagio Health, presented info about PrEP and HIV risk. PrEP is available at Adagio Health and Community Health Net, and there is also an online PrEP locator linked at https://echiv.org/prep-locator/. Preston gave a personal story about living with HIV. The event concluded with a candlelight service in front of the library in honor of those living with HIV and remembering those who had died of HIV/AIDS.
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December, 2019

Erie County HIV Task Force hosts World AIDS Day Recognition

Erie County HIV Task Force hosts World AIDS Day Recognition
Erie, PA - The Erie County HIV Task Force will host a World AIDS Day Recognition Program on Monday, Dec. 2, at 5:15 p.m. in the Admiral Room at Blasco Memorial Library, 160 E. Front St. Since 1988, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died.
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November, 2019

World Aids Day Recognition Program - Monday December 2nd

World Aids Day Recognition Program - Monday December 2nd
On Monday December 2nd, The Erie County HIV Task Force will proudly host a World AIDS Day Recognition Program in order to raise the community's awareness of HIV. This year's program will highlight a HIV Peer Survivor Story, community speakers on the importance of HIV prevention and the program will conclude with a candle light service to remember those that have lost their lives due to HIV. The program starts at 5:15 pm in the Admiral Room at the Blasco Library, 160 East Front Street, Erie.
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October, 2019

3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk

3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk
About 45 people attended the 3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk on September 16 in Frontier Park, including Erie City Mayor Joe Schember. The event was organized by Erie County HIV Task Force. There was coverage by both local TV news crews.
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September, 2019

Erie County HIV Task Force Invites All to 3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk on Sep 16

Erie County HIV Task Force Invites All to 3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk on Sep 16
(Frontier Park, W 6th St, near Tennis Court, Erie, PA) 5 PM. The Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 3rd Annual HIV Awareness Walk on Monday, September 16. By participating in this event, you are helping to raise community awareness and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in Erie County. There is no cost and no registration for the walk, just simply meet us at 5 PM at LEAF Education Center building at Frontier Park, near the tennis courts on W 6th St. The walk will begin at 5:30 pm. Feel free to wear red and bring your pets! If your organization would like to bring a banner, please do! On Facebook: Erie County HIV Task Force. For more info, contact Joy Henry at jhenry@eriecountypa.gov.
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June, 2019

Erie County HIV Task Force Bus Shelter Ad Campaign

Erie County HIV Task Force Bus Shelter Ad Campaign
The Erie County HIV Task Force is excited to announce a bus shelter and bus ad campaign sponsored by the Erie County Department of Health. These ads offer information about HIV and STD prevention strategies happening in our community: (1) promotion of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), (2) FREE condoms, and (3) FREE testing sites in our community. The ads will be up through the end of August and link to Erie County HIV Task Force website: echiv.org. The website offers information regarding free and confidential STD and HIV testing. There are multiple testing locations in Erie County, making it easy to know your status! The task force also manages the condom distribution program with an ever growing list of businesses and organizations distributing free condoms. Click here for information about testing and condom locations near you.
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May, 2019

Erie LGBTQ+ Health Provider Symposium on May 31 at Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center

Erie LGBTQ+ Health Provider Symposium on May 31 at Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center
On Friday, May 31, the Erie County Department of Health, in partnership with UPMC Hamot and TransFamily of NW PA, will present the Erie LGBTQ+ Health Provider Symposium at Crystal Ballroom at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center, behind the Courtyard by Marriott at 7794 Peach St., Erie, Pa. This symposium has been designed to provide up-to-date education to health care providers in order to improve health outcomes in the LGBTQ+ community. New recommendations and guidelines will be addressed through a series of lectures from professionals across the medical, mental health, and public health fields. You can get the event's brochure as a PDF here.
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January, 2019

World AIDS Day Observance Held at Blasco Public Library by Erie County HIV Task Force

World AIDS Day Observance Held at Blasco Public Library by Erie County HIV Task Force
On Monday, December 3, Erie County HIV Task Force presented a World AIDS Day observance at Blasco Public Library, 160 E Front St, Erie PA. Speakers included Erie City Mayor Joe Schember, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, NW PA Rural AIDS Alliance staff member Sonny Concepcion , Community Health Net Ryan White program director Emily Crofoot, and Jim, a local man living with HIV for 36 years. Local coverage was by WICU/WSEE. There were also panels from the AIDS quilt on display at the library, including panels for two Erie County residents.
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December, 2018

Erie County HIV Task Force Billboard Campaign

Erie County HIV Task Force Billboard Campaign
As a member of the Erie County HIV Task Force, I can think of no better time to talk about HIV prevention than as World AIDS Day approaches. The theme for World AIDS Day this year is "Know Your Status" The task force is a collaboration of local organizations and individuals dedicated to educating, supporting, and advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection. We have been diligently working to develop a plan to increase awareness of this preventable disease. Keep an eye out for 6 billboards sponsored by the Erie County Department of Health. These billboards offer information about HIV and STD prevention strategies happening in our community: (1) promotion of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), (2) FREE condoms, and (3) FREE testing sites in our community.
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World AIDS Day event at Blasco Library on December 3

World AIDS Day event at Blasco Library on December 3
On Monday, December 3 at 10 AM. at Blasco Public Library, the Erie County HIV Task Force will hold a World AIDS Day event to raise awareness and show support for people living with HIV. The program is free and open to the public and includes a Tree of Hope and Healing, community resource information and Reflection: Peer Survivor Story. Presented by Erie County County HIV Task Force. Contact: LauraBeckes. (814) 451-6786.
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October, 2018

2nd Annual HIV Awareness Walk

2nd Annual HIV Awareness Walk
On Monday, September 10, 2018, participants marched in the Erie County HIV Task Force's second annual HIV Awareness Walk, which was held in Frontier Park, Erie PA. The Task Force is a coalition of groups involved in HIV/AIDS services. Find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eriecountyhivtaskforce/
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September, 2018

HIV Awareness Walk September 10

HIV Awareness Walk September 10
On Monday, September 10, Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 2nd Annual HIV Awareness Walk. We will meet at 5 PM at LEAF building at Frontier Park, near the tennis courts on W 6th St. Please join us in walking to help raise awareness and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in Erie County. Feel free to wear red and bring your pets! If your organization would like to bring a banner, please do!
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April, 2018

PrEP in Erie County

PrEP in Erie County
PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it's the use of anti-HIV medication (Truvada), taken once daily, that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected. Whether they are engaging in high risk sexual activity with multiple partners, or having sex with a HIV positive partner. Providers that prescribe PrEP in Erie County are as follows: Community Health Net, Hamot Infectious Disease, St. Vincent's Infectious Disease and Dr. Encarnacion at Meadville Medical Center.
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January, 2018

World AIDS Day Program at Blasco Public Library by Erie County HIV Task Force

World AIDS Day Program at Blasco Public Library by Erie County HIV Task Force
On Friday, December 1, 2017, Erie County HIV Task Force had a presentation for World AIDS Day at the Blasco Public Library, 160 E Front St, Erie PA. The event included a display of AIDS quilt panels and HIV display cases created by a LECOM intern. Speakers included Erie County Department of Health CHES/Disease Investigation Specialist Laura Beckes, Erie County Department of Health Director Melissa C Lyon, Sonny Concepcion of NW PA Rural AIDS Alliance, and Miriam Pastor, a woman living with HIV. There was local media coverage by both TV news crews. There was also a group portrait taken of Erie County HIV Task Force members and supporters. The event was well-attended and well received.
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December, 2017

World AIDS Day Program at Erie County Public Library on Dec 1

World AIDS Day Program at Erie County Public Library on Dec 1
Join the Erie County HIV Task Force for a World AIDS Day program to raise awareness and show support for people living with HIV on Friday, December 1 from 9 to 11 AM at the Erie County Public Library, 160 E Front St, Erie PA. FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! The event will be held in the Admiral Room. Program includes Tree of Hope and Healing, Community Resource Information, Reflection: Peer Survivor Story. Refreshments Provided. Presentation at 10 AM.
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November, 2017

Locations Sought for Free Condom Distribution

Locations Sought for Free Condom Distribution
Many people engage in risky sexual behavior that can result in unhealthy outcomes. In Erie County; HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia rates continue to rise. To help reduce sexual risk behaviors the Erie County HIV Task Force is continuing an initiative to reduce the number of infections in our community and we need your help!
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September, 2017

Condom Distribution Program (CDP) Marks One Year Anniversary

Condom Distribution Program (CDP) Marks One Year Anniversary
In Erie County, Pennsylvania, HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea rates continue to rise.  The Erie County Department of Health and the Erie County HIV Task Force responded to this problem by introducing the Condom Distribution Program (CDP) which was launched on August 22, 2016.  This initiative increases the accessibility and availability of free condoms with the goal of normalizing condom use and thereby decreasing HIV and STD transmission in the community.
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Erie County HIV Task Force hosts HIV Awareness Walk

Erie County HIV Task Force hosts HIV Awareness Walk
On Monday, July 31, 2017, Erie County HIV Task Force hosted an HIV Awareness Walk. The event was attended by about 30 people and stepped off from the parking lot of the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, 2 Sassafras Pier, Erie PA, to the Bicentennial Tower at the foot of Dobbins Landing and back. The event included kids and people with their dogs. Everyone had a great time!
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July, 2017

HIV Awareness Walk on July 31

HIV Awareness Walk on July 31
Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in an HIV Awareness Walk on Monday, July 31. We will meet in the parking lot of the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier, Erie PA at 6:30 PM. We will walk to the Bicentennial Tower at Dobbins Landing (foot of State St) and back again. Everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise HIV awareness. All ages are welcome and the event is child and pet friendly. (Please be prepared to clean up after your own pets.) People participating as organizations are welcome to bring banners or other items identifying their group/organization. If you don’t wish to walk the entire route, you are welcome to join us at any point along the route.
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National HIV Testing Day Revision Due to Cancellation of a Testing Site

National HIV Testing Day Revision Due to Cancellation of a Testing Site
Please note that the National HIV Testiing Day site for Tuesday, June 27 at Desired Designs Salon HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Testing at Community Health Net, 1202 State St from 1-3 PM on Tuesday June 27, is still on!
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April, 2017

HIV & STD Testing at Drenched Fur 13 - Get a FREE Gift Card!

HIV & STD Testing at Drenched Fur 13 - Get a FREE Gift Card!
As part of Drenched Fur 13, HIV and STD testing services will be provided to local men as a great option on Saturday April 1st between 10am and 2pm. These free and confidential testing services are being provided by the Erie County Department of Health and Community Health Net in the Ambassador Meeting Room at the Bel Aire Hotel and Conference Center, 2800 W 8th St, Erie PA. Even better, individuals getting HIV tests will receive a Country Fair gift card. Guys can use this web link to choose their testing time at the online version OR you can show up between 10am and 2pm to get tested! Tests provided include rapid HIV (saliva sample), rapid syphilis (blood sample) and also chlamydia and gonorrhea (urine sample).
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January, 2017

Erie County HIV TASK Force World AIDS Day presentation at Blasco Public Library

Erie County HIV TASK Force World AIDS Day presentation at Blasco Public Library
On Thursday, December 1, 2016, Erie County HIV Task Force had a presentation for World AIDS Day at the Blasco Public Library, 160 E Front St, Erie PA. The event included a display of AIDS quilt panels and other HIV-related art work. Speakers included Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Laura Beckes and Sylvia Holland of Erie County Department of Health, and Maria, a woman living with HIV. There was local media coverage by both TV news crews and Erie Times-News. Other elected officials attending included PA State Senator Elect Dan Laughlin and Erie County Councilmember Jay Breneman. The event was well-attended and well received.
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December, 2016

Erie County HIV Task Force Quilt Display on World AIDS Day

Erie County HIV Task Force Quilt Display on World AIDS Day
In observance of World AIDS Day, the Erie County HIV Task Force is proud to honor those who have lost their courageous battle with HIV, those fighting the disease, and family and friends of those with HIV. An AIDS Quilt panel display and art work display will be held in the Admiral Room of the Blasco Memorial Library, 160 E. Front Street Erie PA on Thursday Dec. 1 from 1:30-3:30p.m. County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper will be speaking as part of a short program at 2 PM.
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World AIDS Day 2016 'Leadership. Commitment. Impact'

World AIDS Day 2016 'Leadership. Commitment. Impact'
Erie, PA – In observance of World Aids Day the Erie County Executive and the Erie County HIV Task Force are proud to host an art display featuring the "Aids Memorial Quilt" with a program at 2:00pm to honor those who have lost their courageous battle with HIV, those fighting the disease and family and friends of those of those affected by the disease.   The display will be held from 1:30-3:30 in the Admiral Room at the Blasco Library, 160 East Front St., Erie PA, on Thursday, December 1, 2016.
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November, 2016

Erie County HIV Task Force Art Display
 Call for Submissions

Erie County HIV Task Force Art Display
 Call for Submissions
Attention all artists. Erie County HIV Task Force will be having an art display at PACA in early December to recognize Worlds AIDS Day. More details next issue about the event. Please contact Edith Prather at eprather@community-healthnet.com for further information. Submissions are due by November 21. We would love to have your piece on display to show your support . The HIV Task Force thanks you in advance for your support!!
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Get Your Free Condoms

Get Your Free Condoms
The Erie County HIV Task Force was excited to announce a new initiative to increase the accessibility and availability of FREE condoms throughout Erie County.  The Condom Distribution Initiative was kicked off at a press conference held at the Erie County Department of Health on Monday, August 22, 2016.
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October, 2016

Erie County HIV Task Force Announces FREE Condom Distribution Sites

Erie County HIV Task Force Announces FREE Condom Distribution Sites
The Erie County HIV HIV Task Force is proud to announce FREE condom distribution sites. The following organizations and business are offering free condoms provided by the Task Force. Please remember: to greatly reduce our risk of HIV and STD infections use condoms correctly and consistently. For more info, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
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