September 8, 2017

USCA 2017 Through the Eyes of Social Media Fellow Christian Kiley

This article originally appeared in

When I found out that I was selected as a social media fellow at this year’s United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), it was one of those rare moments– after years of painstaking work on my web series, a door opens. As a working artist, I can tell you that these moments are rare.

Almost as rare as getting to meet Judith Light, one of my all-time favorite actresses!

Almost as rare as my herpes outbreaks.

Yeah, that’s right. I get them. And I should be clear here: I’m actually very lucky because they happen only very rarely, always coinciding with periods of chronic stress. The last time this occurred was over two years ago– when I was preparing to go into the production phase of my web series. And here I sit, experiencing chronic pain that anyone familiar with the condition can recognize.

(I should note that the stress I had going in to my time here in D.C. is what probably set me off– everyone at the USCA has been wonderful, I’m very much with family here!)

This year’s USCA differs from previous years, or so I am told. The reasons are not surprising. In a country where health care disparities are inextricably linked to race, we have a president who has publicly sided with Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The current administration’s efforts to repeal the ACA are not coincidental. They are simply another example of white people perpetuating the institutionalized racism of the United States, as old as the country itself.

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