Surviving HIV is Not Enough. People Living with HIV Need Ongoing Support.

Jeff Berry and Derrick Mapp are both long-time survivors of HIV. They are advocates in their community and work for HIV organizations to help other persons living with HIV find normalcy in their lives. Their mission is to reduce the stigma of HIV. In this week’s episode, you’ll learn about Shanti Project and The Reunion Project, and how these organizations support and bring people together in the local community for deeper connection and love. 



[1:55] Jeff Berry shares that he has been living with HIV since 1989. He's been working in Chicago for different HIV awareness organizations throughout his career.

[2:35] Derrick Map introduces himself as a long-time survivor living with HIV since 1995. He’s currently living in San Francisco and working for Shanti Project, an HIV organization.

[3:25] Shanti project is a legacy HIV organization that started during the 70s.

[4:35] What is the definition of long-term HIV survivor?

[5:35] Just living and surviving is not enough. We must look back, reflect, and address the long-term issues that these marginalized groups are facing. 

[7:35]The impact of having to live with HIV and being told you are going to die soon affects anyone’s mental health. 

[8:15] Derrick talks about his experience at The Reunion Project. There are gaps within the HIV+ community. 

[12:10] The Reunion Project helps people who are still struggling. They created town halls that help community members connect with more people. 

[14:25] When people come together and share collective stories, it gives people another perspective of life and hope that they are not alone.

[16:55] People are hungry for information, it's like an appetizer. The meal is where people come together to build connections with one another. 

[19:05] Being able to receive support as well as give support has been vital.

[20:40] Long-time survivors are often silent about their experience and what they are feeling or going through. 

[23:35] The trauma of an HIV diagnosis today is likely not at the same level as survivors who have lived with this disease for more than 20 years. 

[25:55] How do we expand and keep being responsive to the community that we are committed to?

[26:45] In California, the governor is signing the HIV and AGING act. What does this mean for the community? 



Jeff Berry on Twitter

Derrick Mapp on LinkedIn

The Reunion Project on Twitter

The Reunion Project on Facebook




  • “Anyone who has self-identified as a longtime survivor is in fact a long-time survivor.”
  • “People are hungry for information, it's almost like an appetizer that opens to the meal. The meal is the connection that people get with one another.“
  • “The wounded healers are out there doing the work but are also a part of the work.”

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