A Message of Love to Our Community

Dear CAP Family,
Understanding and acceptance of our identity is a lifelong journey. Over the course of my journey with the virus, I have met some of the most life-changing and inspiring individuals, many of whom don’t even realize the impact they are having on those around them.
My work in HIV has taken my life to new heights and it is the energy and passion that I draw from the people I have met along this path that keeps me going each and every day. Sadly, for as far as we have come in this epidemic, I have lost countless friends and clients … many of whom I consider my kids … my family.
Today, I’m remembering the life and energy of one of my kids – Geneva. She would have been 30 years old this week. It’s hard to understand her loss from this world, but what I do know is that those of us who had the honor of knowing her are forever better for it!

I could tell you so many amazing stories about Geneva, each of which would bring the biggest smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Born with HIV, she was a young woman of small stature with a thick Brooklyn accent who lived 27 years with her disease and never for a minute stopped fighting. I loved how she could light up any room with her smile and laughter, welcomed people into her life with an open heart and wouldn’t pause to question systems when they were unjust or inequitable. I think what I admired the most about Geneva, is that even on her hardest days she found the strength to teach us all what it truly means to be a compassionate and loving advocate.

I often think about what Geneva would be saying right now in our current political environment. Today, I imagine that my phone would ring and as I answered from thousands of miles away, I’d hear her immediately launch into one of her infamous speeches. It would have started with some comment about how she just cannot grasp, how we’ve arrived in a time and place where we have people in positions of power that on one hand have a history of being anti-LGBTQ+, but on the other hand are celebrating a holiday whose mascot is a man with fairy wings in small tight underwear shooting arrows of love.

I’d laugh until tears rolled down my face, then as always she’d say something so profound and wise beyond her years. Today, it would be a reminder to send out a message of love to our community.

Love for those we have lost, love for those living with and affected by HIV, and for all marginalized communities whose rights, access to healthcare, safety, and ability to make choices for their own bodies are being challenged by decisions to be made over the years to come.

I know that we are entering a time of uncertainty, that we all have many unanswered questions, and that sitting in a place of unknown vulnerability can be scary and overwhelming. I also know that CAP and Prism Health will be here to provide support and love for all of those communities in the years ahead.
Love always,