This Saturday, May 16 HIV-positive individuals from across Oregon will gather in the Park Blocks downtown at Shemanski Fountain to say "Screw Stigma." The event has been titled Project 150+ and hopes to make it easier for some of the estimated 7000 people living with HIV in Oregon, to disclose their HIV-positive status in a safe, supportive environment.
The project is part of Oregon's largest volunteer event, "Take Care of Oregon Days," which is part of the celebration over the state's 150th birthday. The "Screw Stigma" activities (PDF) will begin at 9 AM with ex-Gov. Barbara Roberts and Cascade AIDS Project Executive Director Michael Kaplan speaking before HIV-positive people go to participate in community service projects.
"This single event will provide us the opportunity to disclose our status, combat stigma, raise awareness and be of service to Oregon," says Kaplan who has been HIV-positive for 17 years.