An HIV/AIDS youth community forum is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Resource Center Dallas. Organizer Donnie Pangburn said the evening will be informal and he hopes people will come with lots of questions. He got the idea after attending an AIDS at 30 forum at the Interfaith Peace Chapel in June where he said most people appeared to be over 35.
Pangburn said when he’s spoken to young people, he’s heard the response that AIDS is an “old people disease.” During a Lone Star Ride fundraiser in June, Pangburn was approached by a cast member for Logo’s The A-List: Dallas who allegedly made an offensive comment about HIV, prompting Pangburn to write a controversial letter to the editor of Dallas Voice. Last week, a version of Pangburn’s letter appeared in The Advocate.
Speakers at Tuesday’s HIV/AIDS youth community forum will include Dr. Patrick Daly and his physician’s assistant, Stacy Moretta, who’ll offer current treatment information; Deneen Robinson, education coordinator for HIV vaccine trials at UT Southwestern; Chris Miklos, also from UT Southwestern, who’ll answer questions about current research; and Chuck Potter, who does education work in Fort Worth and will speak about prevention.
More informally, Pangburn plans to tell his own story of how he contracted HIV from a partner who didn’t tell him he was positive.
“Nick Tesch helped me build the evening,” Pangburn said. “His partner’s cooking tons of food for the evening.”
And although it’s billed as a youth forum, Pangburn is hoping anyone with questions about HIV or who would like to hear about current research will attend.
Pangburn said there is no charge, “but donations for the Resource Center are always welcome.” He said he has a change jar that he keeps at home and at the end of the year turns it over to the center. “Maybe I’ll bring my jar and let others throw their change in, too,” he said.
Pangburn said the evening will be “ultra-casual” for both speakers and attendees. He invites people to stop by for a short time or spend the evening.