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Aiming Higher with AIN

AIN Dallas HIV/AIDS Treatment Counseling

AIN — a nonprofit that has been providing access to treatment, care, events, meals, and counseling to Dallas’s community of HIV-positive people for over 30 years — opened its new facility on Sept. 20th. Take a look around and learn more about them here.

The facility where a business is housed does not always matter to the employees working to make a difference; but in the case of AIN, it sure does help the experience. AIN — or Access & Information Network — is a growing not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides support to vulnerable, at-risk, and diagnosed individuals living with HIV in North Texas which has been growing in staff and volunteers for 32 years. Yet within that vast expanse of time, space has been limited as the number of individuals they wish to help has continually grown.

After sixteeen months of CEO Steven Pace working tirelessly to find a new space for AIN to grow in, the company moved into the new offices at 2600 North Stemmons Freeway, Suite 151 in Dallas, Texas. The move may have been a small one in terms of location movement, as the previous space for AIN was located across Stemmons Freeway from where they are now, but the new offices have placed AIN in the center of the Medical District in Dallas where it is much easier to access any doctors or medical offices that will be needed by clients of AIN. The Grand Opening Event of AIN’s new offices took place on September 20th, 2018 and was extremely well-attended by patrons, clients, and medical staff within the area.

42424663_1895859757163254_4513890347536875520_n Aiming Higher with AINThe new office space is also having a huge effect on the staff and volunteers of AIN, as many members expressed how delighted they were with the spaciousness, layout, and organization of the new offices. Miranda Grant, Events and Volunteer Coordinator, was ecstatic when asked what she thought about the spaces:

“It’s such a large and inviting space, and in a wonderful location. Plus, I get my own office now, so that’s enough to make any employee happy!”

42492245_1669858703137216_3024772345031032832_n Aiming Higher with AINMany AIN employees expressed the same. Reginald Peoples, AIN’s Van Transportation Coordinator for clients, expressed that he was “impressed with the larger office” and that he will have “plenty of space to direct his drivers now.

The Grand Opening Event allowed outside patrons into AIN’s new headquarters to meet its staff, and everybody there was in high spirits. One might expect to see the staff of a company behave appropriately and to be friendly, but AIN’s staff, interns, and volunteers seemed absolutely genuine about how welcoming, inviting, and approachable they were. Each staff member took the time to explain their roll within AIN and allowed patrons to ask any questions we had about their positions, answering with full confidence and a bright smile.

42405866_252807382087355_4695808317333700608_n Aiming Higher with AINAs shown at the Grand Opening Event, the offices are larger than ever. Each staff member has plenty of room to conduct their job, and clients are welcomed into a professional and healthy-looking environment that takes their best interests to heart. Clients are offered new amenities with this new office space. There is a beautiful interfaith space for meditation, peace, and prayer, and clients have ample room for meeting with case managers privately. Across the parking lot — honestly only about a 40-yard walk — the new Daire Center will be complete in 4 to 6 weeks and will provide meals from the built-in kitchen, a sleeping area for those who have traveled from outside the immediate counties around Dallas-Fort Worth, and other non-medical support and therapy that all clients will have access to.

With this new office space in the center of the Medical District, AIN aims to make its staff and volunteers happier and more organized and aims to make an even bigger difference with their clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by offering amenities and counseling that they did not have the space for before. AIN is dedicated to serving the North Texas area by offering hope and helping create a world without HIV by putting its best foot forward within its new location and offices.

42492245_1669858703137216_3024772345031032832_n Aiming Higher with AIN


For more information about AIN, please visit www.AINDallas.org, or visit the offices during business hours from Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 2600 North Stemmons Freeway, Suite 151, Dallas, Texas 75207, and call (214) 943-4444 for inquiries and appointments.

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Dallas HIV Nonprofit AIN’s Giving Tuesday

AIN HIV GIVING TUESDAY CLOTHING DRIVE WINTER

Join AIN in Dallas today for Giving Tuesday, their winter clothing drive to provide their clients with warm clothes to get through the winter months.

(DALLAS) — Today, November 27th, 2018, the Access and Information Network (AIN) in Dallas, TX invites friends from around the DFW Area to visit their offices between 9 AM and 6:30 PM to drop off any new or gently worn winterwear to provide to their clients as the cold comes to Texas. AIN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works with the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area’s people living with HIV to provide them access to proper medical care, mentoring, safe social settings, meals, and so much more. AIN has been around for over thirty years, and recently just moved into their brand new, sparkling facility at 2600 North Stemmons Fwy in Dallas, Texas.

Coming up next for AIN — aside from their clothing drive — the nonprofit will be re-opening its new and improved Daire Center will provide meals from the built-in kitchen, a sleeping area for those who have traveled from outside the immediate counties around Dallas-Fort Worth, and other non-medical support and therapy that all clients will have access to. The new Daire Center will be located conveniently just across the parking lot of their strip center from the AIN offices.


For more information about AIN, please visit www.AINDallas.org, or visit the offices during business hours from Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 2600 North Stemmons Freeway, Suite 151, Dallas, Texas 75207, and call (214) 943-4444 for inquiries and appointments.

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Editor’s Note: World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day 2017

A note on World AIDS Day from About editor-in-chief, Anthony Ramirez.

Hi, everyone. I hope you’ve all had a lovely week and are wrapping up your Fridays differently than I am – by not working.

As most of you who are in the LGBTQIA community know, today is World AIDS Day, a day specifically targeted at remembering those who have lost their lives to the HIV/AIDS virus, as well as to spreading education about the importance of safe sex, prevention, and living with HIV/AIDS.

I want to start by saying that there is nothing shameful about living with HIV/AIDS. I, myself, am HIV-negative, so there are a lot of aspect to HIV/AIDS that I cannot speak to. But as a person who is very sexually active and who has been with multiple gay male partners in his life, it’s extremely important to me that I am tested regularly, and that I take the precautions necessary to prevent myself from contracting HIV. And I believe it is equally important that we all get tested frequently. We have to so that we can live longer and healthier lives with those we love.

But back to my previous point: having HIV/AIDS is not a shameful thing. It’s not something that a person does to themselves. It is not a reflection of the kind of person someone is. It is not a scarlet letter they should have to wear for everyone to see. HIV/AIDS is an illness, and one that takes lives every single day. It does not, however, define a person who is living with it, nor should it affect the way that others look at them. It should not serve as an excuse for anyone to pass judgment on them. Again, it’s an illness that affects far too many people because preventative medications and healthcare are expensive, and because the LGBTQIA community does not have proper and comprehensive sex education throughout almost all of the United States of America.

The real trouble here is, nothing is 100% effective. You can utilize expensive condoms and take PrEP as prescribed, but you are never going to be 100% protected from transmission. That said, science has brought the LGBTQIA community very far in terms of prevention. True, PrEP provides a 92-99% reduction rate in your risk of transmitting HIV, but 1-8% of potential transmission is still a potential for transmission. That’s why being tested is (again) so very important. While I cannot – nor would I ever try to – speak for an HIV-positive person or try to expound upon their experiences, I can say that it is not a virus that anyone would want. For decades, our community has battled HIV – back to when it was still referred to as GRID (gay-related immunodeficiency disease) – before even that. In that same span of time, innumerable people have lost their lives to this disease.

However, science is constantly looking for ways to make us safer, because HIV/AIDS is not a virus of perverse sex or to just being gay. It’s a virus that limits our ability to love freely and live long, healthy lives. HIV/AIDS has long been used against the queer community by the conservative side of politics as a tactic to restrict the rights of queer people. And in many ways, that has served a hindrance to scientists who work their entire careers trying to find a cure for it. But no one is giving up.

We’re lucky that the number of queer people who are living with HIV/AIDS has diminished. Lucky, because no one deserves to live with something so nightmarish. Still, it is possible to live a long, happy, and relatively healthy life with HIV/AIDS. It’s not always an end-all. In fact, more people are living now much longer lives than ever before with HIV and AIDS. And that’s really something, because it was nearly unheard of just thirty years ago.

So, with all that said, About Magazine did not publish any content related to World AIDS Day, as we have a number of articles for you that will be released starting tomorrow, Saturday, the 2nd of December. We aren’t putting a time parameter on when these articles will end, as we believe that HIV/AIDS should be normalized and discussed all throughout the year. However, given what we recognize today, the next week will serve more information than normal. These articles will talk about the importance of sexual education for queer youth in schools, preventative measures for HIV, resources for people living with HIV/AIDS, a history of World AIDS Day, lists of myths about HIV/AIDS and the people affected by it, some personal stories from those in the Houston LGBTQIA community that are living with this virus, and much more.

It’s our earnest hope here at About that everyone will learn something from these pieces, and take this information to share it with the people you love and in your life. If you have questions you don’t know a credible answer to, hopefully we can help provide it, or at least point you in the right direction. Our goal here at About is always to make sure that this community lives well, happy, and healthy lives. So, please take the time to read some of the information if you’re unsure of anything about HIV/AIDS. And always feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or if there’s something you think we should touch on. You can reach us at info@about-online.com.

For anyone reading this, please know that you are important, that you are special, that you are beautiful, and that you are loved, regardless of your HIV status or anything else you may feel defines you. Because nothing defines you other than what’s in your heart and how you treat others around you.

Choose kindness.

Choose community.

Choose love.

 

Anthony Ramirez
Editor-in-Chief 

A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AIN

AIN Dallas 80’s Fundraiser HIV

Dallas’s leading HIV support nonprofit, AIN, hosted their annual fall fundraiser to bring in money to serve people in the DFW area living with HIV. The theme? Flashback to the 80’s!

(DALLAS) — This past weekend, About Magazine did a little time traveling to the 80’s, courtesy of our community partner, AIN. The nonprofit based in Dallas is the Access and Information Network, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to serving the DFW area’s HIV-positive people. Such services include transportation to medical treatment, hot meals served daily, HIV support, as well as an array of other programs. Annually, AIN hosts a fall fundraiser to make up for the funding that normally hits a lag toward the end of the year, and this year’s event was whimsically themed “Flashback to the 80’s”.

44675900_10160419374333990_6171085388296224768_n A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AINWith other community partners such as the Round-Up Dancehall and Saloon also in attendance, AIN gave community members, employees, and special guests the opportunity to dress up in their most outrageous 80’s gear, dance the night away to the talented Live 80’s Band, nibble on snacks and treats, and raise cocktail glasses to a successful year of serving a widely underrepresented demographic of people — many of whom identify as LGBTQ. This year alone, AIN has not only continued and expanded its services to the community, but has done so while also undergoing the move to a brand new location (located at 2600 N Stemmons Fwy, Suite 151 in Dallas). While they currently are just weeks away from opening their new and improved Daire Center just across the plaza from their offices, the team still operates and puts together functions such as Flashback to the 80’s. At the new Daire Center — as well as at its previous location — clients are able to receive hot meals, partake in group activities, socialize with their peers, and more. Through this transition, however, AIN has never stopped offering services to its clients; and now the nonprofit is capable of serving a larger clientele with more space to do so.

Having been in operation for over 30 years now, AIN is the leading HIV support system in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. And if the enormous list of their sponsors and supporters attending their generous fundraisers are any indication of the work they do, it is safe to say that AIN will be around for another 30 years, as well as long after. Check out photos from the event below:

44818008_10160419339193990_3222137680103997440_o A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AIN44740899_10160419374303990_8120446734712176640_n A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AIN44679947_10160419374838990_4713044905855811584_n A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AIN44628780_10160419340993990_9143401820272459776_o A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AIN44679989_10160419338198990_4728161893657608192_o A Flashback to the 80’s Party with AIN

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