Want to meet the man who started a movement that has changed the way we speak about HIV? New York City’s Bruce Richman, a founder of the Prevention Access Campaign’s highly successful U=U campaign will be visiting Canada next month to engage in two community meetings.
Since it waS launched last year, the U=U message has become ubiquitous – and not just in English. The number of community partners now exceeds 130 from over 20 countries around the globe.
Richman himself has attracted a lot of media attention. He has been profiled on poz .com here, TheBody.com here and on PositiveLite.com here. Popular columnist Mark S. King even featured him in a controversially humourous column Bruce Richman is Totally Hot and Other HIV Activism Truths.
PositiveLite.com, an early U=U supporter, has arranged for Richman to appear at public meetings in Toronto on April 5 at ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto) in Toronto and April 6 at ACCM in Montreal. The latter evening event will be of particular interest to those in Montreal for CAHR2107.
For those in the Kingston, Ottawa area Richman will be speaking at Eastern Ontario Opening Doors conference, May 3-5.
Details of the Toronto event will be released shortly; the Montreal community forum details are below.
I asked Richman why he sees Canada as an important place to visit at this stage in the campaign. “Canada has been a global leader with the size and speed of the U=U movement” he said. “I can't wait to meet many of the folks in person who have been behind this exciting transformation of what it means to live with HIV.”
Richman continued “I met Bob Leahy when he interviewed me in early August after we had just released the U=U Consensus Statement. At that time, Terrence Higgins Trust in the U.K. was the only organization worldwide that had issued a strong statement on the issue. Bob and I were both fired up to work together to update the outdated narrative, and we’ve been friends and colleagues in this movement since then."
"We were so excited when YouthCO boldly signed on in December 2016 as the first AIDS Service Organization in Canada. When CATIE endorsed the campaign and issued their statement, it was as turning point: a globally recognized research organization was sharing the message loud and clear with the public for the first time. We were all crying from joy. What it meant to be a Canadian living with HIV would forever be changed. The great news kept coming from Canada. ICASO's statement was a global call to action, and now there are so many amazing people and organizations in Canada who are sharing the groundbreaking development."
“The best part of this work” said Richman “is engaging with people all over the world in this struggle for truth. U=U is such a radical concept that it will continue to be a challenge for folks to get comfortable saying it for years to come. We are a strong, united, and growing community behind the message and the movement. We'll continue to speak out until everyone living with HIV understands U=U and has the opportunity to benefit from this life changing truth.”
Undetetectable = Untransmittable: what does it mean?
A community discussion
When: Thursday, April 6, 7-9 pm
Where: AIDS Community Care Montreal (ACCM), 2075 Rue Plessis, Montreal
Speakers: Rodney Rousseau. Bruce Richman, Ron Rosenes
Moderator: Bob Leahy
Tickets (free) and info
Featuring an informed community panel including Bruce Richman, the Founding Executive Director of the Prevention Access Campaign, responsible for the "Undetectable = Untransmittable" campaign.
This is an unaffiliated event happening concurrent with CAHR.
This community event is being hosted by AIDS Action Now, with the support of CATIE, AIDS Community Care Montreal - SIDA bénévoles Montréal (ACCM) and PositiveLite.com.
Watch for details.