International Visitors at the Piazza
Ursuline Piazza was contacted by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs to host a group of HIV advocates from Russia. The group is made up of six visitors and two State Department-contracted Russian interpreters. They are part of the International Visitor Leadership Program, which sees 300 visitors coming to Cleveland and 5,000 coming to the United States each year.
While here, the State Department was very interested in having them visit Ursuline Piazza to learn about best practices for targeted treatment of HIV-positive adults who are low-income, chemically dependent, minority, from emerging sub-populations, and suffering mental health issues.
We met on Monday, February 6. After listening to stories about the challenges and successes of Ursuline Piazza. It was heart-wrenching to hear about their struggles with HIV in Russia. HIV has been classified as an epidemic in many regions with the percent of a population living with HIV of over 1%. Yet, because of government control and very low budgets, it is hard for them to get medications and when they do, the medications are out-dated with many side-effects. One HIV+ advocate shared that she wasn’t able to receive medication until she also had tuberculosis as an opportunistic infection and lost one of her lungs.
We asked what Ursuline Piazza could do to help them. We were told that pill-boxes assist so much with adherence, but are hard to come by in Russia. Ursuline Piazza happily shared their supply and agreed to Skype with our newfound friends in the future.
Educating and Supporting HIV-positive people to live better, healthier lives.
We will promote the well-being of those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.
This will be achieved through just and compassionate leadership, education, supportive services and advocacy.