Yale University

Taking Stock and Taking Action

2020 was one of the most challenging in recent memory and one that profoundly affected the world around us and the work we do and support at CIRA. The COVID-19 pandemic created considerable challenges to HIV research, clinical care, and HIV prevention services. Further, COVID-19 widened existing health inequities that exist due to widespread and embedded structural racism and white supremacy that continues to impact our communities in many forms including police violence, stigma and discrimination, health care inequality and lack of access, economic oppression, and HIV disparities. Despite these challenges, I have been blown away with the work that CIRA affiliates have done over the past year. The CIRA community shown amazing innovation, dedication, and passion in providing care and services and conducted research to prevent HIV and improve the health and well-being of individuals living with HIV. In the coming year, CIRA will continue to support your important work and aim to lead in reducing the impact of social injustice and health inequities for individuals living with and vulnerable to HIV. There are numerous challenges that we face in the world and in the field of HIV, but CIRA is dedicated to work with you all to rise, adapt, and meet those challenges.

This year also marked a transition for CIRA, where I have stepped into the role of Director of CIRA, replacing Paul Cleary after 13 years of his transformative leadership. Paul's impact on CIRA has been immeasurable and I am humbled and a little scared to take over for him. My entire career has been shaped by CIRA. I started here 20 years ago as a CIRA postdoctoral fellow, and now find myself as its director. The importance of CIRA to me, comes mostly from the importance of the work it has done to eliminate HIV inequities and the connections and relationships of the CIRA community. I am honored to continue that work with you all in the coming years.

Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2021