First off, I’d like to say that this conference is intense. There is so much to process. More to come on my thoughts on the conference overall in my next blog, but today I want to focus on the engagement tour I participated in. On this tour, I was able to see the Denis Hurley Centre in downtown Durban. This centre serves the homeless and poor in Durban. It has a medical clinic, job development programs with a focus on building skills around entrepreneurship, a kitchen, and much more. You can view their website at www.denishurleycentre.org. I specific...
Nikki “Tita Aida” Calma
Today was going to be a memorable day for me at IAC 2016. I decided to take a break from all the learning sessions and ground myself with the real work. I arranged to participate in one of the “Engagement Tours” that the conference offered. The Engagement Tour is offered to provide delegates unique learning experiences through interactive site visits to local community based organizations throughout Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. The goal is to exchange knowledge, best practices, successes, challenges, and innovative solutions through ...
Nikki "Tita Aida" Calma
Day two was off to a good start! I took a quick snap shot of the sunrise from my hotel’s driveway. It was mesmerizing! While waiting for the shuttle bus, I was still feeling star struck with Charlize Theron from last night’s Opening Plenary Session. Charlize who is originally from South Africa has a foundation named after her. She glided out from the stage wing wearing designer jeans, a black fitted blazer, and a shirt that read “GenEndit!” GenEndit is a call to action campaign that her foundation is spearheading. It’s a ...
Nikki "Tita Aida" Calma
It’s officially the first day of the International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa! As I make my trip out to the city of Durban to the International Conference Centre or as everyone describes, "ICC," I can already sense the excitement, anxiousness and energy of the 18,000 attendees ready to share, learn, and fight for what they believe their communities are representing and deserve around this epidemic.
This year’s theme is "Access Equity Rights Now." I situated myself in the Global Village where organizations from around ...
Today I showed up for one of the only sessions about Trans men and the only workshop about TMSM (Trans men who have sex with other men). What I thought to be a discussion/info session, turned out to be me and 5 other Trans masculine folks sharing to a group of Cis folks who listened in. Led by a Trans masculine person, he opened up the discussion asking us what our community needed. It was clear throughout the entire discussion that we needed providers to be aware that we exist, and to educate themselves accordingly.
Throughout the discussion, I was able ...
Today's conference sessions left me feeling conflicted. It was exciting to be part of history at the first Trans pre-conference at the International Aids Conference, but I was left wanting more. More Trans people at the conference, more sessions on Trans folks, more from folks who call themselves allies. It's time for cis folks to step to the side and realize the importance of Trans led and developed services.
It also seems wild to me that it took the IAC until 2016 to include more programming for Trans folks and this change was spurred by Trans ...
We are proud to have 2 of our staff, Nikki Calma and Niko Kowell attending the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa! They recently touched down and are reporting their daily experiences. Read about their first day in South Africa...
Nikki “Tita Aida” Calma - Associate Director
Behavioral Health and Community Programs
The moment I received news that I was selected to attend the International AIDS Conference 2016 in Durban, South Africa, it was a mixed bag of emotions. The conference is the largest for HIV/AIDS research in the world and is held in ...
Check out this recent article from POZ Magazine, which highlights a few of our staff here at A&PI Wellness Center. https://www.poz.com/article/tale-two-cities
"We are living in a city where it takes one month of unemployment for someone to end up on the street,’ says Blair Turner, a nurse practitioner at San Francisco’s Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, a federally qualified health center in the city’s economically strained Tenderloin District. The center largely serves LGBT racial and ethnic minorities, with a strong emphasis on trans care.” – POZ, June ...
Join us for the 1st National Transgender HIV Testing Day on April 18, 2016. See the Miss TransformSF Empowerment Pageant and stay for the community lunch. Free and confidential HIV testing will be provided. We will also be honoring this day with an all-day event. See schedule below.
FREE & Confidential HIV Testing
Miss TransformSF Empowerment Pageant & Community Lunch
12:00pm- 1:30pm, Audre Lorde Room
Join us for lunch & watch our 1st Miss TransformSF Pageant! Brains & beauty comes together for a cause!
TransformSF is a citywide HIV testing ...
But there’s another reason this event is so special to us. Our headliner, Aidan Park, is actually a former client of A&PI Wellness Center. Growing up wasn’t easy for Aidan. He emigrated from Korea when he was just 9 years old and landed in San Francisco’s Fillmore district, living in Section 8 housing with his grandmother. He didn’t speak any English at all and found it hard to connect with kids in school and the world around him. Self-expression became a minefield, further complicated by his fear of revealing his sexual identity.
Aidan found A&PI ...