We're super stoked to announce that we have partnered with the Austin, Texas Department of Health to help spread the word about HIV and AIDS! Over the coming months we're going to be featuring some rad content from our friends down in the A.U.S. (do people from Austin use that phrase? They should.) in an effort to get the word out about HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately, we are seeing a significant rise in HIV infections among gay men nationwide. So hopefully we can help raise some awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, and scientific developments with the help of the City of Austin HIV Prevention Program!
We are Beth and Mario, and we have worked for the City of Austin HIV Prevention Program for just a handful of months. I was hired as a Public Health Program Specialist and Mario was hired as the program’s Community Worker. Each role has its assigned duties pertaining to counseling and outreach. But when their powers combine…we become essential players on the HIV PREVENTION PROGRAM TEAM!
Although we are absolute wonders in the Public Health field, we did not start out that way. Yes, this is a coming of age story about how two souls who started a journey to end up being a part of the greatest HIV Prevention Team that ever was in the City of Austin, Texas. This is our story.
I started my journey in the great state of Michigan where I went to school and served in the Army National Guard. The military is where I recognized my budding love for Public Health. I studied natural disaster management, medical operations, and chemical warfare. Pretty rad, huh? I consider all these subjects as “SUPER interesting and incredibly relevant.” I enjoyed my time in the military, but felt as though it was not my true calling. My strong and vibrant personality needed something with less cargo pants. Naturally, I fell into Social Work where I am able to work directly with people, counseling them and helping them through the challenges of their lives. I’ve traveled all around the country in hopes of finding a place where I belonged and could fully harness my talents for the greater good. I landed in Austin, Texas in May 2015 where I started my work for the City of Austin HIV Prevention Program. It was like my eyes had been opened for the very first time. I had found my passion working with the populace with my counseling skillz. (Yes, the “Z” is necessary in this context).
Mario moved from California and has worked in the HIV Prevention field for the last four years as a Patient Advocate for a private company. He used his pizzazz, problem solving skillz (also necessary in this context), and wonder to help clientele access medication and treatment. Much like Robin Hood…if Robin Hood worked in the medical field. Mario is a great asset to the team for his skillz (yep, still necessary) but, also because he brings a creative twist of color to the team. Mario, before entering the Public Health field, attended the Art Institute of California – Los Angeles for Fashion Design. When he isn’t saving the world at work, he spends his time working as a shoe designer and a personal stylist. His unique perspective brings a whole new approach to HIV Prevention that makes our team stand out. He also makes us look GOOD. Mario started with the team in April of 2015 and has been gracing the Health Department with his artistic presence ever since.
Our teamwork and combined pizzazz makes us an unstoppable duo for the HIV Prevention Program. Both with passions aflame for helping people through the challenges of their lives, we use our powers of empathy and compassion to bring positivity into the lives of all we help. We exist to break stereotypes and to make the community a bit brighter. Together we are part of the greatest HIV PREVENTION OUTREACH TEAM IN AUSTIN!
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