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AIDS Action Committee marks LGBT Health Awareness Week

Agency will host talk for providers focused on challenges of connecting transgender people with HIV health care

Last Updated: March 20, 2012
Media Contact: Susan Ryan-Vollmar – | 617.999.5644

BOSTON, March 20, 2012—Today, AIDS Action Committee announces that it will host a lecture and luncheon on Thursday, March 22 for providers focused on the challenges of connecting transgender women and men with HIV prevention and care services.

Valerie Spencer, founder of the Transcend Empowerment Institute, and a national expert on HIV prevention and service delivery to transgender people, will talk with providers. Spencer, who appeared in the documentary Beautiful Daughters, about the first all-transgender production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, will address the issues that frequently interfere with transgender people’s ability to access health care, such as sexism, gender phobia, poverty, and social marginalization.

“Valerie has worked for two decades in HIV prevention with a focus on reaching out to transgender women and men,” said Daniel O’Donoghue, program manager for AIDS Action’s TransCEND, which serves transgender women vulnerable to HIV infection. “She is also an inspirational speaker. Providers will come away from this event with new ideas for how to better connect with their transgender patients and clients.”

The event is being held in conjunction with the 10th annual LGBT Health Awareness Week, which takes place March 26-30. The lecture and luncheon will take place Thursday, March 22 at AIDS Action Committee, 75 Amory St., Boston from 12-2pm. RSVP to Daniel O’Donoghue at or 617.450.1016.

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. These services include HIV counseling and testing; needle exchange; mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal services. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. In 2013, AIDS Action formed a strategic alliance with Fenway Health that will allow the two organizations to work more closely together and improve delivery of care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Learn more at


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