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About the Arizona HIV Needs Survey
The purpose of the HIV Needs Survey is to gain a better understanding of current access to testing, treatment and prevention services. By sharing needs, experiences and barriers, your feedback will help to highlight what has gone right with HIV services and how they can be improved.
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A chat with Aaron Waddy
RipplePHX: “What made you want to be a part of this campaign?”
Aaron: “I’ve done a lot with the community and other organizations, and I want my voice to be heard, along with a lot of other people’s voices who have not been heard.”
RipplePHX: “Was there a moment when your eyes opened to HIV or when HIV became more important in your life?”
Aaron: “When I had a friend pass away from it. That’s when I was aware of it, but that really hit home. That’s when I was like – OKAY – I need to take better care of myself.”
RipplePHX: “What do you wish other people knew about HIV that they keep getting wrong?”
Aaron: “For some reason, people still feel it’s just a gay disease, but one of the leading populations also includes African American women. We need to make sure that EVERYBODY knows to get tested and if they need to be on PrEP or Treatment – gay, straight, trans or whatever – I hope this [survey] helps that.”
RipplePHX: “How do you think HIV is viewed in your community?”
Aaron: “I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of anymore. Especially if you are aware of your status and you’re taking care of yourself – I kinda see it that people aren’t letting [HIV] determine their future.”
RipplePHX: “If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself something you now know about HIV, what would it be?”
Aaron: “That the early epidemic was going to be really hard to get through, but if you stick close to your family and friends and get educated, you’ll get through it.”