From: on behalf of Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force []

Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 10:07 AM

To: Jason Herring

Subject: Welcome to the family! October E-Perspectives



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        Issue 32/
October 2013







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Dear Jason, 

Welcome to
e-Perspectives, a monthly e-newsletter that highlights current and upcoming Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force events, accomplishments and programs, as well as national and international HIV/AIDS information.  Through e-Perspectives, we keep you posted on all that PATF does to improve the health and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in southwestern Pennsylvania. A sincere thank-you for your support and interest in PATF. 

Have questions or comments about
e-Perspectives? Please contact editor Jason Herring at    



PATF Welcomes New Staff


Please join us in welcoming new PATF staff members Gary McKillop, TeOnna Ross, Vianca Masucci, and Karen Battle.


Gary A. McKillop was hired as the Director of Information Technology. McKillop spent the last 14 years at Chatham University, working as the Director of Development Information Systems. Not only does he bring extensive IT expertise to the agency, but also a passion for the work of PATF. McKillop has served as the Director of Development on the Board of the GLCC and as a board member on the Renaissance City Choirs. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.


TeOnna Ross was hired as a Medical Case Manager. After graduating from Carlow University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Ross completed a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in Saint Louis. She has worked in many different social service settings; most recently, she distributed clean syringes and safer sex supplies in Washington D.C.. Ross is originally from Youngstown, Ohio.


Vianca Masucci has joined the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force as Volunteer Coordinator. Hailing from New Jersey, Masucci is currently an Americorp member of the Pittsburgh Health Corps. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater at Swarthmore College, where she also served as a sexual health counselor and wrote a sexual health and sexuality column commissioned by the Swarthmore Phoenix.


Karen Battle was hired as the Community Outreach Coordinator. For the last seven years Karen served as director for social justice and mission for the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has a Masters of Divinity degree and is an ordained Lutheran minister with 27 years of pastoral experience. While in Chicago, Illinois she managed a CDC-funded HIV/AIDS prevention project for women of color, trained volunteers to provide compassionate care for HIV-impacted individuals and worked to educate the African American community and persons living in transitional shelters about HIV/AIDS. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and came to Pittsburgh 12 years ago.




PATF Continues M2M Project




Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force will continue its highly successful outreach program to men who have sex with men (MSM) as its original grant for the project runs out. The M2M Project is a targeted outreach program to spread awareness, facilitate HIV testing, and defeat stigma among the highest risk population for HIV. In addition to regular monthly events, the project also includes interventions at bars, sex clubs, theaters, book stores, and special events. The project sponsors two monthly signature events: First Wednesday and Fourth Tuesday.

Each First Wednesday, the MSM and transgender community are invited to participate in recreational, self-affirming, and self-actualization activities at Project Silk in downtown Pittsburgh. During First Wednesday, individuals are offered free HIV and STD testing, an opportunity to engage with M2M prevention specialists for counseling, and explore themselves in a safe environment.

At Fourth Tuesday, M2M prevention specialists encourage self-efficacy through creating an advocacy group. To be certified as an M2M and safe sex advocate, individuals must attend 2 trainings, 1 review session, and be directly observed in action. All advocates are trained to present HIV 101, STD 101, and personal risk assessments. Fourth Tuesday takes place at the GLCC, 210 Grant Street, Pittsburgh from 6-9 PM.


For more information, contact M2M Project Coordinator John Easter at 412-345-0583 or



PATF Creates Support Group for HIV Positive Women


PATF will begin the Allegheny County HIV Positive Women's Support Group for PATF clients on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. The group will meet monthly at the PATF offices in East Liberty, Pittsburgh.


The monthly group meeting will provide a safe place for clients to share their thoughts and experiences with living with HIV/AIDS as well as learn about resources for women to access necessary housing, food, medical services, mental health, drug and alcohol services, and legal services. Light refreshments will be served.


For more information, please contact Lyn Chavis at 412-345-0591 or



HIV in the News: 


Cats may be key to HIV vaccine


Oct, 2013 - There have been numerous studies showing how dogs can benefit human health, by sniffing out cancer, for example. Now it is time for cats to shine, as researchers say they may hold the key to a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine. 


Read rest of story here


Project Inform helps explain PrEP with series of videos


Project Inform fights the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics by assuring the development of effective treatments and a cure; supporting individuals to make informed choices about their health; advocating for quality, affordable health care; and promoting medical strategies that prevent new infections.



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