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AHP News

June 11, 2020

In 1991, when Dan Karasic, MD, arrived at the UCSF AIDS Health Project, now the Alliance Health Project, it was during the pinnacle of the AIDS epidemic. As a gay man who was watching the epidemic unfold, he set his sights on working in San Francisco and helping those suffering from psychiatric disorders as a result of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Karasic received his MD from Yale University and trained in psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, before coming to San Francisco and working with patients with HIV/AIDS at Ward 86 at ZSFG, one of the nation’s first HIV clinics. He also worked on the designated AIDS unit, Ward 5A for more than a decade. It was while working at ZSFG that he began his lifelong interest in the care and equitable treatment of LGBTQ and, in particular, transgender patients.

Treating patients in the early years of the epidemic cemented Dr. Karasic’s innate sense of justice and activism. He participated in peer review groups that eventually led to the re-writing of the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) to de-pathologize gender dysphoria.

As a co-founder and co-leader of the Gender Team at the UCSF Alliance Health Project, Dr. Karasic has brought his deep knowledge and understanding of the trans community to AHP and has served as a mentor to the staff. He has also been the psychiatrist for the Transgender Life Care Program and the Dimensions Clinic for trans youth at Castro Mission Health Center for the last 17 years. His work to improve the...

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April 29, 2020

To kick-off the Alliance Health Project’s new Art at Home space, we offer this piece on the role of creativity in our lives and the gifts it can endow us with, written by Maxine Hamilton, one of our HIV test counselor volunteers. 

In these strange times, our desire for connection, escape, and exploration has been magnified to its fullest. If we are essential workers, we are working and risking our health to provide critical care and goods and services so the rest of us can stay at home. You may have been furloughed or laid off completely, or trying to adapt to working from home, alone, or crammed into a small space with, kids, roommates, partners, and/or extended family.

There is grief and fear in this time. Loss of plans, celebrations, weddings, graduations and saddest of all, funerals. Suddenly we are all, across the globe, “stuck” right where we are. To cope with the myriad of feelings that are present during this time, I often ponder what resources I can rely on, both internally and externally to help me handle this deeply uncomfortable and unwelcome reality? Along with staying active and maintaining elements of routine, I keep being called to create more — to paint, write, tinker with jigsaw puzzles, cook, dance, and learn to play an instrument. At this time, when opportunities for connection feel scarce, the urge to create is a way of connecting to ourselves, other artists, and the communities we were engaged with. Creativity offers each of us a path to feeling and expressing all the complexities of our lives, and everyone has been touched by...

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March 23, 2020

 

October 20, 2019

Were you at the Art for AIDS Benefit Gala last night? It was fantastic! Here are your Red Carpet Photos.

May 6, 2019

De’Anthony Jones is a tireless force for good. A warm and affable presence, he lives to be of service to his community.

As the Neighborhood Services Liaison at the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services at the City and County of San Francisco, he has a deep commitment to government and politics. Who knows? Maybe someday in the future, we will see De’Anthony Jones on a city or state ballot.

He will have success in this life. You can see it in his charisma, his larger-than-life smile and his deep commitment to his community, as he fights for those who do not have a voice. Beginning in high school as a member of the Mayor’s Youth Commission, Jones showed that he inherited his political ambition from his grandfather “Speedy” Wade Woods, an activist, politician, and writer from the Fillmore District who has spent a lifetime fighting for fair housing and employment for black people in San Francisco.

De’Anthony found that his journey toward self-acceptance and physical and sexual health was a tender and liberating path. The Sexual Health Team at the Alliance Health Project played a big role in helping him destigmatize his sexuality, HIV disease and his sexual health. In his transformation, guided by the sexual health team at Alliance Health Project, Jones has become an outspoken advocate for sexual health for black people and especially black gay men.

“Sexual health was not something I was taught, especially as a gay man,” De’Anthony said. He knew he was gay since he was young, and despite having a loving family, he kept his sexuality a secret...

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