September 7, 2017
This article originally appeared on The Body.
In August, Hurricane Harvey devastated cities along the Texas Gulf Coast. Over 32,000 people have been displaced by the catastrophic storm that submerged Houston, its surrounding areas and parts of Louisiana. Though the floods are slowly receding, residents — including people living with HIV and their families — are still reeling from the disaster left in Harvey’s wake.
According to Nelson Vergel, a leading HIV treatment advocate and long-term HIV survivor living in Houston, many HIV clinics in the city were closed as of Aug. 30 because of the storm. Life-threatening floods had blocked most roadways, making it difficult for activists to connect with and help people in need.
Despite facing obstacles, the HIV community in Houston and across the country is mobilizing to help make sure people living with HIV who were impacted by the storm have access to antiretroviral medications, as well as to basic everyday supplies.