WCIP to host World AIDS Day Zoom Presentation

Dec 2, 2021

With special Guest Speakers

Please join Warrick County Indiana Pride (WCIP) for a Zoom event for World AIDS Day 2021, Wednesday, December 1, 6-7 PM Central time.
Moderated by Haley Clements, there will be introductory comments, followed by 3 speakers (bios below). Two individuals who are currently living with HIV will share their stories, and the Site Director of Matthew 25 will give a brief overview of Matthew 25’s services in our local area.

About the Moderators:
Haley Clements is a southern Indiana native and graduate of Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Kelley School of Business, studying both public and private information systems. At IU, she was involved with the campus LGBTQ+ Cultural Center and Grad Queers, a group for queer graduate students. She first become involved in LGBTQ+ issues when the Indiana state legislature was attempting to pass HJR-3 to prevent same-sex marriage from happening in the state. She is the Secretary and Webmaster for WCIP and is excited to promote LGBTQ+ Pride in Warrick County, Indiana.

WCIP President:
Yvon Lauren, President of WCIP, is a retired therapist and LGBTQ+ and civil rights activist.

About the Guest Speakers:
John Reams has been living with HIV for 30 years and with AIDS since 1996. While attempting to care for himself, John also took care of his brother and his brother’s partner (both of whom died of AIDS) and other friends with the disease. The advent of new HIV drugs gave John renewed hope and he returned to college and started working again, although the medications had some serious consequences. In 2004, he moved from southern California to Indiana to follow his husband back to his hometown of Chandler, buying a house and eventually returning to work, despite some serious health setbacks. John worked for the AIDS Resource Group for 5 years before becoming a Board member of Warrick County Indiana Pride.

Robin Barkins’s transformative journey began at the tender age of 15, when she acquired HIV. The devastating diagnosis sent her spiraling into self-destructive behavior such as prostitution and substance abuse. Ms. Barkins never thought it would be possible to live a life without drugs and alcohol but, 10 years after her diagnosis, she made the decision to attend a drug recover program. With her fierce determination to improve her life, she began to face her emotional injuries and fears. In the process of becoming sober, she learned new coping skills and strategies to deal with life, regaining her confidence and cultivating a healthy self-esteem. Ms. Barkins kept her HIV status a secret until 2010, when she chose to go public with her story because she knew that her journey could have a positive impact on other people’s lives. In the process, she seized back her own power. Ms. Barkins founded a non-profit organization called To Restore Unite Support and Transform (TRUST).

About TRUST:
TRUST promotes health equity and social justice in diverse communities. TRUST serves justice-impacted individuals and families by providing a whole-person care approach, centered around the social determinants of health, working to restore human dignity, unite families, support clients in improving their quality of life, and transform communities. Ms. Barkins’s story allowed her to empathize with her clients and emboldens her to advocate on behalf of the HIV community, those afflicted by trauma/domestic violence and drug addiction, and formerly incarcerated individuals. Every day, she embraces her mission to provide her clients with the supportive tools and resources to empower the reentry population as well as the women and men who suffer from trauma, addiction, and HIV.

Matthew 25 Guest Speaker:
Jennifer Jerger has lived in Warrick County since she was 5 years old and continues to root her family here. Jennifer graduated from Castle High School in 2001 and received her BS in psychology from the University of Southern Indiana in 2007. From a young age, she knew she wanted to work in a field that served people and lifted people up. She’s been serving the HIV population for 6 years, spending 3 years as a Care Coordinator at the AIDS Resource Group before moving to Matthew 25, where she started as a Medical Case Manager helping to create their Indiana Medical Case Management Program. She’s now the Indiana Site Director of the Evansville Clinic and also serves on the Board of the Patoka Valley AIDS Community Action Group in Dubois County.

About Matthew 25:
Matthew 25 provides HIV testing, HIV medical care, HIV primary care, PrEP services, medical case management, mental healthy counseling, transportation assistance, food pantry assistance, and much more, providing compassionate, patient-centered care. Matthew 25’s mission is to support, educate, and treat those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, recognizing that HIV/AIDS is a real disease affecting real people. Real(istic) prevention and treatment is the only way to fight the continuing spread of HIV. Through holistic care and support services, Matthew 25 strives to reduce the number of new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for those already fighting HIV/AIDS. One of only 2 comprehensive HIV/AIDS service clinics in Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky, Matthew 25 has been recognized as a Patient Center Specialty Practice by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.