By the time Arthur Harris turned 17, he had already endured a childhood of grinding poverty in Hartford’s North End, the death of his mother, and the rejection of a community that viewed homosexuality as a sin. It should have come as no surprise to anyone, then, that he went searching for love and acceptance wherever he could find it — a search that led him to contract HIV before he was 18. The virus, which can lead to AIDS if untreated, disproportionately affects African-Americans all over the country, including in Connecticut.
The new Connecticut Department of Public Health campaign, dubbed ‘Getting to Zero,’ will attempt to dissipate new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths, and stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.
This year, Connecticut passed groundbreaking legislation that once again proved it is a leader in the LGBTQ rights movement – the birth certificate bill. It allows transgender and intersex people to correct the gender designation on their birth certificates. By passing this bill, the state removed discriminatory policies and eliminated barriers preventing members of the transgender community from accessing their basic rights.