News in brief: Jones to speak at UC Berkeley
compiled by Cynthia Laird
Longtime gay activist and AIDS Memorial Quilt founder Cleve Jones will address students at UC Berkeley Thursday, January 29 at 4:30 p.m. The free event, open to students of all ages, will take place in the multicultural center, Heller Lounge, MLK Building (at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft).
Jones, who is portrayed by actor Emile Hirsch in the critically acclaimed film, Milk, about slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, will discuss how young people can take the lessons of Milk's life and apply them to today.
Jones's career as an activist began in San Francisco during the turbulent 1970s, when Milk befriended him. Jones worked as a student intern in Milk's office while studying political science at San Francisco State University. Milk and then-Mayor George Moscone were gunned down in their City Hall offices by ex-Supervisor Dan White on November 27, 1978.
In 1983, when AIDS was still a new and poorly understood threat, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He conceived the idea of the AIDS quilt while at a candlelight vigil for Milk in 1985 and in 1987 created the first quilt panel in honor of his friend Marvin Feldman.
Next week's event is co-sponsored by the Pacific Center, the Gender Equity Resource Center, and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. The event is wheelchair accessible; for disability accommodation requests and information, contact Danny Kodmur at (510) 643-6456 or (510) 642-6376 (TTY) for communication services or Peter O'Connell at (510) 642-2795 for mobility services. For other information, contact Billy Curtis at (510) 643-0788 or mailto:email@example.com.
Town hall forum on hep C
City health leaders and others will host a town hall meeting Tuesday, January 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, to inform the community about what is reported to be a rising incidence of hepatitis C in the gay men's community. The goals of the forum are to encourage discussion about the sexual transmission of hepatitis C and to begin forging a consensus of what actions the men's community wants city health policy makers and service providers to take, including providing hepatitis C screening within standard sexually transmitted disease protocols.
"We believe there is a higher incidence of hepatitis C than HIV at this point," said Rick Osmon, one of the community organizers.
Race Bannon will facilitate a short discussion with a panel of medical professionals, public health officials, patients, sex club promoters, and community leaders. Organizers said that gay men, in particular, and those who serve the gay men's community are encouraged to attend to learn more about sex and hepatitis C.
Panelists include Michael Allerton, operations and policy practice leader, the Permanente Medical Group; Ryan Clary, director of public policy, Project Inform; Dr. Brad Hare, assistant clinical professor of medicine, UCSF and medical director of San Francisco General Hospital's Positive Health program; Tom Kelly, playwright and theater critic; and Larry Shockey, sex club promoter.
The free program is organized and facilitated by a grassroots community coalition, and sponsored by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. For more information, visit www.sexandhepc.wetpaint.com.
AHP relationship workshop; volunteer training
The UCSF AIDS Health Project's Reach program will present a free "Men Connecting" workshop called, "What Do We Want from Relationships?" A new year is often a time of hope and change, and this year offers the promise of more change than usual, said John Tighe, a licensed clinical social worker at AHP.
In the workshop, participants will explore everything from dating relationships to friendships and how to achieve individual goals. The workshop is for gay and bisexual men regardless of HIV status. It meets Friday, January 23 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the AHP Services Center, 1930 Market Street in San Francisco. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required; people should call (415) 476-6448, ext. 1
In other AHP news, the agency has extended its recruitment for volunteers interested in facilitating its peer-led support groups and workshops. AHP conducts HIV-positive groups, HIV-negative groups, and mixed-status groups.
For qualifying participants, AHP is holding a weekend-long training January 30-February 1. A basic understanding of HIV/AIDS or HIV prevention is required; group experience is helpful, but not necessary, and people living with HIV are especially encouraged to apply. In addition to the training, volunteers commit to 10-12 hours a month for a minimum of six months.
Those interested in receiving a training application should contact Audrey Harkness at (415) 476-3902. For more information on AHP, visit www.ucsf-ahp.org.
Hayward gay center benefit
The Lighthouse Community Center will hold a "Viva Las Vegas" fundraiser Saturday, January 24 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. in the Rotunda at Hayward City Hall, 777 B Street in Hayward. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
The event will feature casino-style games, food and beverages, raffles, and other entertainment. Proceeds will benefit the Lighthouse, which serves LGBT people in Hayward and Southern Alameda County.
For more information, visit www.lgbtlighthouse.com and click on "events."
SBA, PRC host workshop
The U.S. Small Business Administration will partner with the Positive Resource Center to offer training for people living with HIV/AIDS who are interested in starting their own business. The session takes place Wednesday, January 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the SBA Entrepreneur Center, 455 Market Street in San Francisco.
SBA began partnering with PRC in 1999 to offer classes on entrepreneurship to PWAs, noted Gary Marshall, business development specialist. Since then, 16 classes have been offered and have mirrored the evolution in the epidemic and changes in the lives of attendees.
Topics expected to be covered at next week's training will include business management, marketing, financing, regulations, and resources.
"I think it's important that as a federal agency we connect strongly with people who need the help we offer," Marshall said. "Some people come out of this ready to start the next day and some others realize that it's not for them. I figure it's better to find out someplace safe like this before rather than after you've jumped into it."
Registration for the free seminar is available at www.acteva.com/go/sba. For more information, contact Marshall at (415) 744-6771.
Quit smoking class
Smokers who want to kick the habit can sign up for a seven-week course with the Last Drag, a confidential and supportive smoking cessation program for LBGTs. The classes begin Saturday, January 31 from 10 a.m. to noon and free acupuncture is available. The course will take place at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Street (at MLK Jr. Way). To register, contact (510) 981-5330 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The program is funded by the Alameda County Public Health Department and sponsored by the Tobacco Prevention program of the Berkeley Public Health Division.