Philadelphia has five times the national average of HIV and AIDs cases. The city’s African-American population represents 69 percent of new infections. With those statistics in mind, the community outreach efforts of Kevin Sims, guest coordinator at the Clyde Barker Transplant House, take on even greater importance.
Sims volunteers with Philadelphia Gay Black Pride which, according to its website, strives to “organize and promote unity among sexual and gender minorities through a variety of activities that advocate for the spiritual, emotional, intellectual health and well-being of all.”
PGBP holds several events a week, sometimes partnering with other groups. An important part of this outreach is educating and bringing awareness about HIV and AIDS. “We do HIV testing at all PGBP events and link people to additional resources,” Sims said. “We have massive community outreach.” Indeed, on average, “15,000 people come to our events each week.” The Penn Medicine CAREs grant he received will help fund the cost of these educational programs and HIV testing.
Sims previously worked for Penn Medicine Development, organizing events and meetings, and is happy to use these skills for PGBP as well as helping at their community events. “I love reaching out and sharing my skills to help others.”
Photo caption: Kevin Sims (l.) with his partner Archie Moore at the opening reception of a Philadelphia Black Gay Pride event.