Uncovering the truth about HIV.
"Our middle-aged women really need to be made aware and educated on the issue of HIV/AIDS," Curry says. "If I were preaching it, I'd be preaching abstinence. But our middle-aged women--and I'm 60 now--someone really needs to sit them down and take them through a shock process. Aren't they now talking about a women's Viagra?"
"Abstinence will fail before a condom will," says Danielle Parks of WATS. But she says she's equally tired of the band-aid approach most cities take in response to an epidemic health crisis.
"What the city is just beginning to understand is the importance of prevention. We can do testing. We can do counseling. But those don't address why a client is there in the first place," Parks says. She does some workshops with a few middle and high school students, which she says is great because it's fun when students come by eager to learn.
"But it's not, well, 'we have these kids who are going through puberty and have all these feelings. Let's get an expert in here to talk to them,' Parks says. "Instead it's 'somebody gave somebody a blowjob on the fire escape' or 'someone's pregnant. Let's hurry and get somebody in here,'" underscoring the fact that when a school--or in some cases a family--learns what's going on, it can already be too late.
More than a few voices caution that in the decade-plus since effective antiretroviral meds have transformed HIV infection from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection, too many people have lost their fear of the virus.
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide