As a gay man who lived through the 80s and 90s in the Bay Area, Lou has experienced a great deal of struggle, difficulty, and loss. Not only because he has lost so much of his community all at once, but also because he has been personally involved in the struggle as he was diagnosed with HIV in the late eighties and then later full blown AIDS not long after.
He was given 6 months to live and was told to “get my life in order and prepare for the worst.” This devastating diagnosis is what brought him back to Sacramento; close to family and friends to prepare for the enviable end.
He was shocked and grateful to realize he beat the odds and continues to be survivor today. He was a survivor, but felt isolated and lacked a feeling of community. He discovered Strength in Numbers (SIN), an HIV/AIDS support group at the Center. HIV and AIDS destroy lives and this group is meant to restore connection, provide education, and cultivate a spirit of resilience and empowerment.
Lou is proud to say he later became a facilitator of SIN and has been inspired by his time here to, “reach outside of myself and try to make something better of the world and “my community” around me. One of my fundamental beliefs is that ‘We each can do something local to effect real change here and now, and in that we start to create a ground-up movement that also effects change in the world now!’”