Let’s Kick ASS is a grassroots movement of long-term survivors, positive and negative, honoring the unique and profound experience of living through the AIDS epidemic. We’re dedicated to reclaiming our lives, ending isolation, and envisioning a future we never dreamed of.SPONSORS OF NATIONAL HIV/AIDS LONG-TERM SURVIVORS AWARENESS DAY JUNE 5

Disability Trap Follow Up

Let’s Kick ASS forum the Disability Trap was a huge success. Nearly 70 people showed to hear informative & insightful information about disability, retirement, and aging. Thank you to everyone who attended.

We also want to say a very big  “Thank you” to our amazing panelists Ellyn Bloomfield, Openhouse (www.openhouse-sf.org), Andy Chu, Positive Resource Center (www.positiveresource.org), and John Fasesky, AIDS Legal Referral Panel (www.alrp.org.). They are knowledgeable, smart, compassionate, and committed experts on the issues that affect all of us. The issues of disability, returning to work, retirement are complicated but it is clear there are folks who can and will assist. DO NOT THINK THERE IS NO HELP. These folks and organizations are heroes for survivors so please do not please do not hesitate to call on them.

One of our panelists is profiled on the ALRP site. Read about survivor and staff attorney John Fasesky’s remarkable story here: http://www.alrp.org/spotlight/john-fasesky-esq.

While you are on the site check out their upcoming events: http://www.alrp.org/events. They have several workshop and forums.

Openhouse is an amazing Bay Area organization. They do way more than housing. They hold a wide range of events for seniors and disabled folks check them out here: http://openhouse-sf.org/event/.

On April 25 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM ALRP and Positive Resource Center is holding a workshop: Working While Receiving SSI/SSDI. Learn more here: http://www.alrp.org/events/workshop-working-while-receiving-ssissdi-3

Coming up on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Positive Resource Center is hold THRIVING IN 2014, a daylong institute on access to income and healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS. The goal of the institute is to help the community to better understand the most pressing challenges confronting people living with HIV/AIDS in accessing income and healthcare in San Francisco today. In partnership with: National Senior Citizens Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, California Health Advocates, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Bay Area Legal Aid, Project Inform, and Openhouse.

Thriving in 2014 Workshop Flyer

The year 2014 is significant for the launching of Covered California and California’s version of Medicaid expansion (MAGI Medi-cal) under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the implementation of state and federal regulations on the equal treatment of same sex marriages.

Thriving in 2014 is comprised of a series of interactive exercises and explorations to encourage participation from the attendees. The morning session will consist of two panels of specialists (the first on access to income, the second on access to healthcare) who will discuss issues raised by the attendees. The afternoon breakout sessions will consist of Community Dialogues in subject areas including, Employment, Disability, Access to Healthcare, Immigrants’ Access to Public Benefits, Housing, and HIV & Seniors. Participants will engage in small group discussions on their chosen topics. The groups will reconvene and share their findings.

For more information, please contact Vaughn Villaverde at (415) 972-0874.



The Social Security form John talked about was the BPQI, benefits planning query. That is the first step in benefits planning is to know your current situation. This brief report has a lot of information including details about the SSI and SSDI benefits a person receives, the work history, earnings history and health coverage. You need to go to your local Social Security office and ask for your BPQI.


News About AIDS Survivors Summit

Let’s Kick ASS is the lead sponsor of National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day on June 5. The 34th anniversary of the first reports of AIDS by the CDC in 1981.

This year’s theme, “We’re Still Here,” reflects the strength and resilience of the generation of survivors who lived through the darkest decades of the AIDS epidemic—the 1980s and 1990s. The We’re Still Here campaign continues the work of Let’s Kick ASS by focusing on the lives of long-tem survivors. By optimizing self-empowerment, increasing visibility, and ending stigma, NHALTSAD puts long-term survivors on the AIDS agenda. Our goal is to empower survivors to find meaning and purpose amidst the rubble of lives so incredibly impacted by AIDS.

Visit NHALTSAD.org to learn more.

Help us spread the word about National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day June 5 https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/8932-long-term-survivors-day-jun-5?locale=en

AIDS Survivors Summit San Francisco 2014 — AIDSSurvivorsSummit.org

In San Francsico in June 5, 2014 we are hosting the first AIDS Survivors Summit. Bringing together Bay Area organizations and individuals to begin optimizing the lives of survivors.

Learn more at AIDS Survivors Summit San Francisco 2014 — AIDSSurvivorsSummit.org


Back to the Beginning Brave Video


Let’s Kick ASS has grown tremendously since our first town hall THE DEFINITION OF BRAVE. We thought it would be good to repost the video from that town hall. It is a about two hours but well worth it.


LetsKickAss.org presents Definition of Brave Town Hall for Long-Term Survivors from Let’s Kick (ASS) on Vimeo.

Living and Thriving After Treatment for Anal Cancer Forum


Living and Thriving After Treatment for Anal Cancer Addressing Long-Term Treatment Side Effects

Date:             Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Time:            6:30pm-8:30 PM

Location:    2340 Sutter Street, UCSF Mount Zion Campus

Lurie Conference Room (1st Floor)

Please RSVP to (646) 593-7739 or info@analcancerfoundation.org

A panel of experts and patients will discuss side effects often experienced by individuals treated for anal cancer. Panelists will address the short and long-term quality of life effects of chemotherapy and radiation and management of these side effects. Speakers include:

Joel Palefsky, MD Anal Neoplasia Clinic UCSF

President, International Anal Neoplasia Society

Katherine Van Loon, MD Medical Oncologist, UCSF

Allison Palandrani, DPT
Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center

Justine Almada Executive Director, HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation

Albert Chang, MD Radiation Oncologist, UCSF

Michael Berry, MD Anal Neoplasia Clinic, UCSF

Lurie Conference Room (1st Floor)

Co-sponsored by the UCSF Alliance Health Project, Project Inform, Shanti

A Survivor Story


LGBT seniors still face stigma

LGBT seniors share the challenges of being gay and grey this week on CBC Radio’s On The Coast:

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors were part of a generation of trailblazers who changed laws and the way society treats LGBT people.

Now, they’re embarking on the next stage of life — old age — and finding that it’s got challenges of its own.


Also in the same series:

Gay and Grey: HIV patients beat the odds



Let’s Kick ASS is the lead sponsor for National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day. Save the date!

Let’s Kick ASS In The News!

Joaquin Palomino wrote a wonderful piece in the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Staying Alive is about long-term survivors and explains what ASS is. You should read it.

Here’s an excerpt:

Like Anderson, many AIDS survivors suffer emotional ailments akin to post-traumatic stress disorder or survivor’s guilt. Walt Odets, a Berkeley-based psychologist who has worked with hundreds of gay men who lived through the AIDS epidemic, is convinced that a mental health crisis is unfolding among long-term HIV survivors.

“There’s an inability to live with vitality, to live with richness, to get up in the morning and feel like you have a future, if only for the day,” he told us. “We’re losing a lot of vital lives over this.”

Anderson believes that many AIDS survivors have a definable psychological syndrome. Last January he decided to give it a name: AIDS Survivor Syndrome, or ASS for short (the acronym was intentional). He and two friends, Michael Siever and Matt Sharp, have since formed the group Let’s Kick ASS.


Aljazeera America recently covered ASS. Read it here:

Living with the demons of AIDS survivor syndrome

Many of the survivors at the Let’s Kick ASS event, it seems, made a kind of existential decision to fight for their lives through the epidemic. The AIDS epidemic also had an impact apart from the damage it caused. Though it meant death and suffering, it also allowed those enduring its effects to band together — to challenge their doctors and health policymakers on the kind of health care, or lack thereof, they were receiving.


Please like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AIDSSurvivorSyndrome

Follow Let’s Kick ASS on Twitter: @LetsKickASS_org

And check our events page often for the latest meetings schedule…and most important please join us for one of them! LetsKickASS.com/events



Please Check Our Online Survey too. You may win a $100 VISA GIFT CARD!



Please Take the Let’s Kick ASS Survey

After six months Let’s Kick ASS wants to know how we are doing. If you have ever attended one of our events? Please take a moment to fill out our survey. You can enter our raffle to win a $100 VISA gift card for completing the survey!
Let’s Kick ASS is about YOU. And we want to know if we are serving you. AND THANK YOU!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Dreaming A New Future?

Join us on March 19 for a groundbreaking interactive workshop about THE DISABILITY TRAP. We are bring in attorney John Fasesky from the ALRP to answer your questions about the transition from disability to retirement, because some of our group at in there sixties. Not know what is going to happen to your income when you go from disabled to retired is causing a lot of anxiety.

Some of our cohort who have been on disability are wondering if they can work part time or return to full-time work and it it is worth it. What are the implications.

What about YOUR future? Bring your questions to this timely town hall on April 16, 2014 at the SF LGBT Center, 1800 Market St starting at 7 PM.



Please read the new interview with Let’s Kick ASS’ Matt Sharp and Tez Anderson just published on BETA treatment news.

Dreaming A New Future: A Conversation with Long-Term Survivors

In this frank conversation—the first in a new BETA column for long-term survivors—Anderson and Sharp share their own experiences with AIDS survivor syndrome, tell why they have a bone to pick with champions of an “AIDS-free generation,” and share how kicking ASS is helping kick-start a new chapter in AIDS history.


Al Jazeera Covers AIDS Survivor Syndrome!

We are excited that a respected news outlet is shining a spotlight on the reality of ASS. Please read this;


Huge advances in modern medicine have turned HIV from a condition that could seem like a death sentence to one that can be largely controlled by a hefty regime of medicines and careful treatment. But now many of those who lived through the worst years of the AIDS epidemic say the physical disease itself was not the only thing that caused harm. So too did the mental anguish left behind with those who watched their friends, lovers and family members die against a backdrop of a society that was often slow to care.

Does this sound like you? Please talk to your doctor about AIDS Survivor Syndrome.

Thank You Henry Waxman AIDS Hero!

From the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic Rep. Henry Waxman has been a true hero and advocate for people with with HIV and AIDS. He has announced his retirement and he will be missed.

Here’s how much cared:

Waxman himself became nearly a board-certified specialist in immunology. The scientists often briefed him directly. He chaired hearings on incidence and prevalence, antibody tests, immune cells and anti-viral drugs. He met with people living with AIDS, even as others were calling for quarantine and wearing rubber gloves.

Read the entire Politico piece here: 


Now Forming Planning Team For National Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day

On the anniversary of the first announcement of AIDS by the CDC in 1981, Let’s Kick ASS is commemorating June 5th as National Long-Term HIV/AIDS Survivors Awareness Day. We need folks to help us organize and implement the first annual awareness day spotlighting long-term survivors.

Are you a long-term survivor looking for a project? Are you an experienced website developer? A social media/new media maven? An experience public relations/press person? Do you have any experience organizing an awareness day of any kind? Are you naturally organized? If so we need you YOU!

We have a host of issues and concerns that are not being addressed. We are not on the AIDS service organizations agendas, and LGBT rights groups have long-since forgotten AIDS is a gay issue. We want to change that by empowering long-term survivors. Long-term survivors are the elders of the AIDS epidemic and yet we are not given the attention elders deserve.

We are holding the first Awareness Day Planning Team meeting on Saturday 15 February at the Let’s Kick ASS office at 4111 18th Street (at Castro) from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Get in on the ground floor of our new project and meet other long-term survivors.

For more info email Tez@LetsKickASS.org.

In 2 Weeks Sean Strub at SF LGBT Center

LetsKickASS.org presents “An Evening With Sean Strub” author of “Body Counts Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survivalin conversation with Tez Anderson.

Followed by a book signing.

WHEN: Friday, January 31, 2014 6:30 PM

WHERE: San Francisco LGBT Center, Rainbow Room, 1800 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Please RSVP HERE: https://seanstrubbodycounts.eventbrite.com

Watch a book trailer here: https://vimeo.com/75181260

Sean Strub is a long-time activist and writer who has been HIV positive for more than 33 years. He is the founder of POZ Magazine and served as its publisher and executive editor from 1994 to 2004. He presently serves as the executive director of the Sero Project, a network of people with HIV fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice and as treasurer of the U.S. Caucus of PWHA Organizations. He is a recognized global leader in the effort to empower people with HIV to be meaningfully engaged in the response to the epidemic and in combating HIV-related stigma, discrimination and criminalization.

THIS EVENT IS FREE. Books for sale on site and at Books Inc.



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