Event Recap: Creating Equity, Taking Action


We all understand the power behind December 1st. World AIDS Day is a day of community engagement. We reflect on those we have lost to the virus, focus on educating those who don’t fully understand the virus, and most of all, companies such as Gilead connect with social influencers and celebrities to reach a base larger than their normal footprint. This year, Gilead connected with Singer/Songwriter/Entrepreneur and Real Housewife of Atlanta, Kandi Burrus, and Radio Royalty, Ryan Cameron.

Coming together, event attendees were engaging in a community forum to help address the HIV epidemic in Black communities and discuss ways to continue moving the needle toward renewed purpose. The event provided a platform for all to make their voice heard and to hear from key community leaders and celebrity innovators. Amongst the crowd were noted influencers such as,

  • Miss Lawrence- Actor, Reality star
  • Dr. Contessa Metcalfe- Married to Medicine
  • Byron Perkins- HBCU Athlete
  • Gary Wit da Tea- Rickey Smiley Morning Show
  • Justin Smith – Director of the Campaign to End AIDS, Positive Impact Health Center
  • Rashad Burgess, Vice President of Advancing Health and Black Equity, Gilead
  • Jonathan Anderson, Director Medical Affairs, Gilead

This wasn’t the typical scripted conversation that some have become accustomed to. Rashad Burgess opened the event with a warm welcome that set the tone for what was to come. Following Rashad, we were presented with some key factors as it pertains to the AIDS Epidemic in our community. Allow me to share a few slides that cause reason for pause.

As the presentation continued, the conversation of Prep and U = U shifted the room for stun to optimism.

As we understand that the fight is more than just one day, we continue the conversation every day and take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others.



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