MeckPAC meets with health director, hopeful for next steps in HIV prevention in Mecklenburg County

On Thursday, representatives from MeckPAC, Charlotte’s local LGBTQ advocacy organization, and from RAIN, one of Charlotte’s local HIV/AIDS service organizations, met with Mecklenburg County Health Department Director Gibbie Harris and Assistant County Manager Anthony Trotman.

The meeting followed controversy over remarks made by Harris regarding HIV rates in Mecklenburg County and what may be fueling them. MeckPAC had condemned the remarks and asked for an apology, which Harris published on Wednesday.

MeckPAC is appreciative of Harris’ apology and welcomed the opportunity to discuss actionable next steps for HIV prevention in Mecklenburg County. MeckPAC representatives Jamie Hildreth, Ryan Morrice, Matt Comer and RAIN Executive Director Debbie Warren shared their ideas for what the county could offer for continued prevention efforts and, specifically, how it might be able to expand support for PrEP, a once-daily pill that can reduce the likelihood of HIV transmission by up to 92 percent.

Harris and Trotman also discussed opportunities for community organizations like MeckPAC and RAIN to lend support toward ensuring increased resources and programs for those living with HIV and those at risk of contracting HIV.

MeckPAC looks forward to joining with wide range of community organizations in the next few weeks as we launch an effort to increase education and advocacy for PrEP.

Help MeckPAC fund its important upcoming effort, PrEPinMeck, as well as prepare for next year’s county commission and legislative races.

Our education, advocacy and lobbying efforts will not come cheap nor easy, especially as we face continued stigma and the lack of education around HIV. 

Your donation today — which also reserves your spot at our Dec. 6 end-of-year Victory Celebration — will ensure we can finally provide one of the most effective HIV prevention methods in Mecklenburg County.

Click here to donate today.

When you donate at least $25, you’ll also reserve your spot at our Dec. 6 event. Click here to learn more about and RSVP to the 2017 Victory Celebration.