HIV, Hurricanes & COVID-19 in coastal North Carolina

Posted May 1st, 2020 in Uncategorized.

When people living with HIV in coastal North Carolina talk about how they prepared for Hurricane Florence, their considerations are about the same as the average person – with exceptions.

HIV-positive community members have to think about their medications – how they’ll get them and where they’ll store them. They have to think about access to healthcare, and whether they feel comfortable disclosing their status to whoever they stay with during the storm. And the anxiety that accompanies these considerations is much like the anxiety people are feeling during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jeff Mills, 72, talks about how the coronavirus pandemic compares with the HIV/AIDS outbreak in the 1980’s and his life experiences as an activist. Mills has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina with his partner since 2013. Before moving to the southeastern U.S., Mills spent over fourty years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s a living example of crucial moments in our history: he protested the Vietnam War, he was an activist during the HIV/AIDS outbreak, and he continues to fight for LGBTQ rights in coastal North Carolina.

Broadcast from the Working Narratives studio, this series compiles community stories about COVID-19 from coastal North Carolina. Listen here: http://stormstories.buzzsprout.com/442498/3379999-hiv-hurricanes-covid-19-in-coastal-north-carolina