Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stephen Handlon, OHP Staff Member Introduction

Stephen Handlon, OHP Staff

Tell us about yourself
I recently graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in History. I have always had an interest in public health and am excited to be the new administrative assistant at the Office of HIV Planning. So far, I have had the opportunity to meet great people and see how policy impacts the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS. I currently live in Northern Liberties and in my free time, I enjoy exploring new restaurants and hang outs in the city. I have been to Paris, France a few times and am obsessed with French films and almost anything related to the language or culture. Another fun fact is that I’m from Minnesota… and no, I do not have an accent like in the movie Fargo.

What made you get involved in the HIV/AIDS community?
Because of the work that has been done by advocates, community members, policy officials and scientists, those in the gay community in my generation have a greater awareness about issues related to HIV/AIDS than previous generations. However, there is still a lot to be done in terms of erasing the stigma surrounding the illness, providing adequate care to those affected and working towards a cure.

Who do you look up to or admire?
I admire all the hardworking people in the world who are so essential to our everyday activities, but who almost always go unnoticed. I try to remember to thank the driver when I take the trolley to work in the morning.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for people living with HIV/AIDS?
I think some of the biggest challenges are related to larger challenges disproportionately faced by people from marginalized groups, such as stigma and a lack of access to things such as quality food, housing and education. 

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