It all began in 1997, two years after my friend Feliciano’s partner, “Rafa” died from AIDS at a very young age and in a very short period of time.
Feliciano Reyna founded one of the first organizations with services in HIV / AIDS in Venezuela, Acción Solidaria in Caracas in 1995.
There was a need for awareness, prevention and education in all sectors of society as well as treatment for everyone with HIV or AIDS in Latin America; the epidemic was hitting particularly hard people with low income and those in extreme poverty.
In February 1997, Action for Solidarity, Inc was already established in the State of Florida and operating exclusively with the support of a group of volunteers, doctors, nurses, social workers, especially at Mercy Hospital in Miami, as well astravelers from Caracas-Miami-Caracas, who kindly offered to transport the donations which Action for Solidarity was already receiving. Those donations helped keep 290 people on antiretroviral treatment for two years, without interruption, until it finally became available in Venezuela.
With the beginning of the millennium and thanks to FEDCO (VCS Pharmacy) together with other directors of community agencies, activists and local the local community in general , we got our first office in April of 2000, a space donated by FEDCO which by then was called “The South Beach Wellness Center ” and where Action for Solidarity shared the same roof with South Beach AIDS Project (SoBAP), directed by Jeffry Wilkinson and also CareResource with the food assistance program” FOOD4LIFE Network “.
Almost 20 years have passed and Action for Solidarity remains active and strong. We have worked through all these years providing referral services and linkage to HIV services to the Hispanic community in Miami-Dade and we continue to maintain a bridge of health for Latin American counries through our Recycled Medicine Donation Program (ARV).
Thanks to all of you, heroes who have supported our programs and have always given our organization a helping hand. It is because of people like you that we continue helping those who need us most.
HIV is everyone’s problem!
By Cristobal Plaza L.