It’s been a long time coming, but here it is — updates (and of course, PHOTOS) from PRIDE FESTIVAL 2015
As previously mentioned, VIDC is proud to have been part of this year’s PRIDE FESTIVAL. We’ve been in the community for so long, it was only a matter of time before this happened — and now is the time!
PRIDE is a time to celebrate acceptance and to stand up against discrimination — and since HCV and HIV/AIDS do not discriminate, we wanted to be present at the festival to promote awareness about these diseases and the treatments available.
It was a very interesting and informative day for us as we got to see other organizations who support PRIDE, the initiatives they are involved with, and the health programs they have for the community. It was a great reminder that although HIV and HCV are negatively affecting a lot of people, there are also a lot of people working together to help those affected.
It was also very encouraging how receptive people were to the information. Festival goers were generally very inquisitive, and it was our great pleasure and delight to educate them about the diseases (HIV and HCV) and the treatments available.
We focused mainly on providing information on Hepatitis C. Why? Because we feel like the awareness of HCV isn’t as widespread as HIV; also, at PRIDE, there were a number of organizations with information booths spreading awareness for HIV already. We tried to fill in the gap where we saw fit. Hepatitis C is a serious disease, and we want people to know that they should get tested and that treatments are available!
The VIDC team had different shifts in staffing the booth. We wanted to make sure we got the chance to enjoy the festival while also ensuring that we always had a medical professional to address people’s questions and concerns. We had all three of our nurses, a couple of our research coordinators, assistants, and volunteers present on-site at various times of the day — all ready and equipped to spread the good word that HCV is now curable and people should get tested.
We clearly had a lot of fun at! And we look forward to being a part of the PRIDE FESTIVAL again next year. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a float for the PARADE too!