CT leaders gather to commemorate longtime AIDS activist to mark AIDS Awareness Month

(WTNH) – Connecticut lost a longtime AIDS advocate in October. On Monday morning, those who knew her gathered alongside US Senator Chris Murphy to mark AIDS Awareness Month and celebrate the life of Shawn Lang.

During AIDS Awareness Month, activists gathered in Elmwood to honor the life of a person who has spent most of his life advocating for those affected by the AIDS pandemic.

“She was only five feet tall, but she loved everyone and at the end of the day she would hug you too.” She just had the biggest heart and the biggest part of that heart was loving people living with HIV / AIDS, ”said John Merz, CEO of Advancing Connecticut Together.

That person is Shawn Lang from Hartford who passed away several months ago. She was the former assistant director of AIDS Connecticut. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy says it was Lang who helped raise awareness when he was a young state senator in 2003.

“Shawn was someone who understood that we were never going to eliminate the threat of AIDS infection here in Connecticut unless we were also working on this topic across the country and around the world,” said Murphy.

AIDS Connecticut has since become Advancing Connecticut Together. As the organization tackles issues such as homelessness, it remains at the forefront of the AIDS pandemic with a plethora of programs, including one that provides clean syringes to prevent infection from dirty needles. .

The AIDS pandemic is still a problem. It is now made worse by the coronavirus pandemic in some areas.

“We have attacked AIDS from both a prevention and treatment perspective. We have to do the same with COVID, ”Murphy said.

Murphy says people with AIDS are twice as likely to dive from COVID and that more COVID vaccines are needed in sub-Saharan Africa.

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