CHEcast Ep 40: Parallels b/n the COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS Pandemics w/ Mireya Treviño

August 04, 2021 Steve & Gabi Season 2 Episode 40
CHEcast Ep 40: Parallels b/n the COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS Pandemics w/ Mireya Treviño
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In the last 50 years, we have experienced two big pandemics, the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s-1990s, and the current pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. While these two viruses may be different in transmission mode and in the symptoms they generate, they do have important similarities: the fear instilled in the population, stigma, and politicization. In this week's episode of the CHECast, epidemiologist, Mireya Treviño, takes a deep dive into each of these pandemics, how they began, how society responded, and the disproportionate impact each crisis had on marginalized communities. 

Featuring: Mireya Treviño

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Steve  0:00  
Welcome to another episode of the CHEcast with your hosts, Gabi and Steve.

Gabi Antuna  0:08  
CHEcast is a program of the Center for Health Empowerment, a nonprofit sexual health clinic that provides HIV prevention services including PrEP and PEP, HIV testing and care and STI testing and treatment to our community at little to no cost. We specialize in providing care to people of color, and other marginalized communities. We have clinics in both Austin and Dallas and offer convenient telehealth services across Texas. Visit us online at to book your appointment today. Thank you.

Steve  0:38  
And now the CHEcast. Hello, everybody out there. Welcome to another episode of the CHEcast. I'm Steve. 

Gabi Antuna  0:48  
And I'm Gabi. 

Mireya  0:50  
Ah, hi. I'm Mireya. 

Steve  0:52  
So we have a guest, a new guest on the show today. Why don't you go on and have your friend introduce herself there Gabi? 

Gabi Antuna  0:59  
Yeah. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. 

Mireya  1:02  
Okay. Yeah. Hi, y'all. I'm Mireya. I'm originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. And that's where I got my start in HIV. It was uh Corpus' first ever pride back in 2017. I had volunteered to help out at a free screening event. We had folks stepping onto a bus for free, or a quick test and it was my job to get folks on that bus. Let's see. I graduated from the University of Texas in 2020, which was a great year to get a public health degree. While I was studying public health. I met UT Gabi and kind of dragged her into the reproductive rights and sexual health space because that's what I'm particularly passionate about. I do epidemiology and disease surveillance. Let's see. I'm also a Scorpio and a Swiftie. That's how I identify. 

Steve  1:48  
What's a Swiftie? 

Mireya  1:49  
A Swiftie? Is a Taylor Swift Stan. 

Steve  1:52  
Oh, yes. Okay.

Gabi Antuna  1:55  
Trust me. If we could have gone to Taylor Swift night we would have. 

Mireya  1:58  

Steve  2:00  
That's cool. I like Taylor Swift. I like Taylor Swift. I think she's pretty good. 

Gabi Antuna  2:04  
One thing I've noticed about our friend group is that one person will like one artist and we'll all go support them. And we'll go with them. And then we'll do the same for the other friend. We all have different music tastes though. Heh.

Steve  2:16  
So give me a quick Taylor Swift story. Why do you like her so much? Like what's, what's something pretty cool about her or unique? 

Mireya  2:20  
Oh, I think why I like Taylor Swift so much is that I, that was like, her debut album was the first album that I ever bought. It's one of the only CDs that I own. I love country music. But I don't know, if you listen to country music, there's not great representation in it. And she was, for one, one of the only women, but to be so young, singing about experiences that I was going through, right? Like being in elementary school then middle school, and even now as a young adult, things that she sings about, resonate with me. And that's kind of rare in the country space. 

Steve  2:21  
Yay. I love that.

Gabi Antuna  2:24  
Um, I also want to talk a little bit about what got you interested in public health? And why are you so passionate in the work that you do? 

Mireya  3:03  
Yeah, yeah. So I did study public health at UT. And it's a great degree, because it's super diverse. It is a Bachelor of Science. So you have to take those serious core natural science classes, but you also get to pick your own concentration. So I went into health policy, because that's what I'm passionate about, and arguably best at and as much as I did learn in the classroom, I definitely learned more out in the field with Students for Planned Parenthood, as I'm sure you're experiencing now Gab. 

Gabi Antuna  3:29  
Mm hmm. For sure. 

Mireya  3:31  
Yeah, it's one thing to like, memorize for a test or work really hard on a paper that you'll never read again. And it's a whole other learning experience to be out in the community or down at the Capitol.

Gabi Antuna  3:42  
For sure. I think if it weren't for like experiences like this, working with CHE and working with Students for Planned Parenthood, I don't think I would be as much of a great public health leader as I am now. And I'm sure as you are today. So I think that onhand experience is very important. You also used to be the previous president of UT Students for Planned Parenthood before me. Can you talk us through the highlights of that position? And what inspired you to take on such an important leadership role? 

Mireya  4:04  
Yeah, when I think about what I'm most proud of, during my time in college, it's not my GPA. God no like, it's definitely not that um, or even like the degree itself, I think in a close second, in a super close second, it's defeating 36 anti abortion bills during the Texas legislative session with Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. But what I'm most proud of possibly like in my life is really establishing Students for Planned Parenthood as a force to be reckoned with both as this political force and this past legislative session has really shown that the power of youth I mean, the power that youth have in political organizing is astounding. But also like as health educators in the community, I'm remarkably proud of Gabi and of all the other young folks who I had the honor of working with and, and passing the torch to but at the end of the day, I'm just a bureaucrat. Right, the absolute most I could do is change a policy. But it's activists like Gabi. And like Ric Galvan from Texas Rising who was on a couple of episodes ago. They're the ones who really change the world, because they change how the public talks about important issues like voting rights, immigration, climate change, what have you, when we look at something like HIV, public perceptions of HIV/AIDS, in the 1980s, were drastically different to how we talk about HIV now, right? Yeah, this comes with advances in the science but also largely due to the activists who have been fighting the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS for decades.

Gabi Antuna  5:36  
That was really powerful. Thank you. 

Mireya  5:38  
You're really powerful. Thank you. 

Gabi Antuna  5:40  
Aw, thank you. Um, now you currently work in HIV prevention. Can you talk to us a little bit about what your work entails? 

Mireya  5:47  
Sure. Yeah. So I do epidemiology and epidemiology is the study of disease and like disease in populations. So the key difference between public health and medicine is that physicians treat individuals who've already become sick or presenting with some malady and public health has this goal of preventing folks from ever becoming sick in the first place. So instead, we focus on the health of populations through prevention, early intervention is always more effective in keeping folks well, you know, it's more effective than attempting to treat an already advanced case. So when public health entities are figuring out where to make those early interventions they'll look to the epidemiology to see where it makes sense to put those interventions, we'll look at populations who are experiencing the most cases and attempt to understand why, right? We'll look at the hard data like frequency and prevalence of disease, but also the social determinants of disease. So how, how is the frequency of cases being distributed across socio economic scales? Is one race being disproportionately affected? Is there a sub population that's particularly at risk? How do we protect these people? How do we empower them to best take charge of their own health?

Gabi Antuna  5:50  
That was a nice public health 101 right there. 

Mireya  6:55  
Shout out to Marylin Felkner. Yeah, 

Gabi Antuna  6:57  
Thank you so much for sharing. This leads us right into our next topic. We're going to take a quick break and when we're back, we're going to be diving into the similarities and differences between the COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS pandemic. We'll be right back. 

CHE relief a program of the Center for Health Empowerment aims to bring sustainable development and migration mitigation to Honduras. We're a nonprofit program that is run for the people and by the people bringing a community together to support those who need it most. For more information and to find out ways that you can lend a hand, visit us online at Thank you. 

Steve  7:27  
Okay, so we're back. 

Gabi Antuna  7:08  
So Alright, so we left off talking about the parallels between HIV and COVID-19. But before we dive into this conversation, let's touch on some brief history. In the last 50 years, we've experienced two big pandemics, the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. And the current pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, while these two viruses may be different in transmission, and in the symptoms they generate, they do have important similarities: the fear instiled in the population, stigma, and politicization. While, I know that's a lot of information to unpack, Mireya, I was wondering if you could briefly talk to our audience and tell them what you know about the HIV/AIDS crisis?

Mireya  8:00  
I've heard of it. I've heard of it. Yeah, we actually just passed the 40th anniversary of the first five cases of what later became known as AIDS. Of course, at the time, we didn't know what AIDS was, or that HIV caused AIDS. We didn't know that it would take more than 30 million lives globally. But the good news is, is that we can celebrate that 38 million people are living today with HIV globally. And that's a, it's a drastically different landscape than what it was just 40 years ago. 

Steve  8:32  

Mireya  8:33  
So those first five cases all occurred in Los Angeles. They were five previously healthy gay men in their prime really, who developed this really rare lung infection. It's called pneumocystis carinii pneumonia PCP in the field, their immune systems were all essentially gone. The first article to report this referred to it as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Obviously, we know what happens next, the number of cases skyrocket, gay, trans and people of color are disproportionately affected people are getting very, very sick and the government wasn't moving fast enough. I touched a little earlier on how activists are the ones who change people's minds and by changing public opinion, you can change the world. Well, it took some serious organizing to get the feds to really take action. At the time, AIDS was seen as this disease that only gay people, drug users and sex workers could get. None of those groups had any real substantial political power. So it was difficult to hold the government accountable. Right. So when I say that these people had to fight I mean, these demonstrations were massive. They were effective in lighting fires under asses. All right, well, they weren't moving fast enough. They were, they were organizing for funding for research, right? As fast as they could. But it was France who actually beat out the US in discovering HIV. They isolated the virus in '83. I believe, now that we knew like what HIV was we could establish it as the cause of AIDS. S in AIDS stands for syndrome. It's a collective of symptoms that someone can experience and before we knew what HIV was, we didn't know what caused AIDS. That uncertainty right there, like that was the root of all the fear associated with the AIDS crisis, once we knew how HIV works, or at least had a better idea of how it works, right, that's when you really see the push for condom use. Barrier methods are still a really great way to prevent the spread of HIV. And now we have PrEP and PEP, which is a total game changer.

Gabi Antuna  10:29  
Yeah, for sure. I also will make sure that our audience knows that if you wanted to get signed up for PrEP, I'll put a link in the show notes. So now that we've covered the history of the HIV/AIDS crisis, let's talk about the transition to COVID-19. This hits a little bit too hard to home because I unfortunately was diagnosed, tested positive with COVID-19 yesterday, so oof I'm really living it firsthand. So Mireya, can you talk to our audience a little bit more about the history of this pandemic? And how it began slash continued to spread? 

Mireya  10:58  
Yeah, well, COVID is a pandemic that we're all currently living through. So we can all speak from experience here. Yeah. COVID was first identified in 2019. China and the US first started feeling its effects the following spring when everybody went into lockdown, and there was this like initial panic where folks were panic buying and it was price gouging, and people were taking a lot of precautions to social distance and disinfect nearly everything right? There was also that spike in hate crimes against Asian people. Although both COVID and AIDS caused a real panic in the US, the stigmas around these diseases are super, super different right?

Gabi Antuna  11:38  
Now, this is something we have currently witnessed firsthand. What were your thoughts that ran through your head as the pandemic began to worsen slash what was your quarantine experience like?

Steve  11:46  
You're more of a professional than I am about this. So I, I have been doing some studies when this first happened. This was like um probably about December 2019, I had read that there was, um, there was a military Olympics which had just ended in Wuhan. And, and so I've always associated that some of the first, you know, cases were coming back from there. And, and I remember reading in like January or February, that people were very concerned that this was going to spread. I started masking myself in March I was doing, I was doing the elections voting, early voting. And people were you know, I started wearing a mask then. So you know, people were like, Whoa, you're over exaggerating that. So I've, it's because I get sick easy. If someone has a cold and walks by me, like if I'm in an airport. Every time I travel, I get sick every single year. And I started masking early, and I haven't stopped since. And I've, I haven't caught a cold since then. I usually catch a cold every single year. But I haven't caught a cold since January 2020. So my experience has been I was concerned about if, because I you know, I get, I get a common cold. And I thought this is, this is sounding really bad. And so I, you know, I might have gone a little overboard, but I haven't gotten sick yet so far. So I take it, I take it seriously, I questioned the vaccines myself personally, because I think the testing requires 10 to 15 years, and warps, Operation Warp Speed was by the Trump administration, I think that he was just trying to get it out there as fast as you can without actually doing the proper testing on it. But I have a little bit more confidence now that I have more information that they have been testing for these coronaviruses for some time now. This is just one more variant of it. So I'm more confident than I used to be in getting vaccinations. I think it's more important to get vaccinated, than is not to be vaccinated. And I know that one out of five people that have been vaccinated in Los Angeles County still contracted it. But on the other hand, though, 90% of those getting sick were unvaccinated. So I'm, err on the side of caution. I believe in vaccinations. Am I completely 100% sure that they're effective? Obviously not. But I think that if you're not vaccinated, you're in hot water. So those are just my rough thoughts on it. Mireya, what about you? How was your experience? 

Mireya  14:33  
Um, I Yeah, uh, Steve, you bring up some really great points. And I do want to go back and touch on that, like, emergency use authorization. I was gonna bring that up a little bit later. But um, yeah, my quarantine experience. I mean, nobody really had a pleasant one did they? I graduated quote unquote, and in, like on my laptop. That was really difficult. I had, like a lot of other people did, a lot, like a bit of a mental health crisis, not being able to see my loved ones, having this like underlying fear of is this, you know, going to harm me or my loved ones, especially being in the HIV space for as long as I did, and like knowing the history, um, you know, one difference between the AIDS crisis and the COVID pandemic that I don't think is talked about enough. Anthony Fauci right. He's the nation's top epidemiologist. He came under fire for having like stricter COVID guidelines, right? Like, like Steve was saying, wear your mask, wear your mask, wear your mask all of last March. And some people like Trump himself, thought that like he was taking COVID too seriously. He was mocking Fauci at rally, like super spreader events. And ironically, 40 years ago, Fauci was still getting shit like he was head of NIH during the AIDS crisis. And activists like those in Act Up regularly targeted Fauci for not doing enough for not being as proactive, as he later would be for COVID. Right, Fauci, Fauci was working on AIDS research at the time. And he'd actually befriended some of those activists in Act Up. And he was noted to be one of the only scientists to do so and advocated for government officials to listen to activists to listen to people living with HIV the people with lived experience. And like this led to the inclusion of women of color drug users and children in the clinical trials for AIDS drugs. That being said, things still weren't moving fast enough. So Act Up, did the famous Storm the NIH protest anyway, and Fauci was actually in the building at the time. So I do wonder, you know, how much Fauci took from the AIDS crisis, and applied it to his approach to handling COVID. So that, that emergency use authorization wasn't around in the 80s like it is for the current COVID vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer and J&J. But I wonder if AZT, that first cocktail used to treat AIDS, if that would have been approved for emergency use, it probably could have saved 1000s of lives had it gotten that emergency use authorization, because it would have been able to be widely distributed. 

Gabi Antuna  17:28  
Oh, for sure. That was heavy. I was just going to talk about I guess my quarantine experience, too. That was a really good transition. That was beautiful Mireya. It was good. 

Mireya  17:42  
Heard you got a cat. 

Gabi Antuna  17:44  
I know. Um, I was Yeah. I did get a cat. I got a cat three months ago, and he is a terror. I wish he was, he is super cute. I wish he was nicer. He likes to scream and claw at me all the time. And it wasn't really cool when we had to transition to online classes. When quarantine started, I think it was really hard for me to focus as a student especially especially like being home and like surrounded by so many other people because I was with my girlfriend at the time. And her roommate, so it was just a hard time for all of us to go through our classes at once. And kind of have to cram and isolate ourselves from one another to study and get things done. But as like quarantine went on, I later kind of enjoyed just the time to like chill and get to, I guess just be in my own space for a moment and protect my own energy. But now I'm ready to go out into the community and do some tabling and see each other again, once I'm well. I guess I'm excited to see everyone again once it's all safe.

Steve  18:49  
See, I'm the opposite. I like, I like social distancing. Because you know back in the day, I used to be like a Bernie supporter and they're all about hugs and that kind of stuff. I don't hug anybody anymore. No, I'm, I'm I want to, once this is all said and done. I want to have some money, want to move the mountains. I want to grow ganja and drop it off to a guy once I'm at the end of the cycle and not see anybody again until the next cycle is over. So it's actually made me very much into a introvert. 

Gabi Antuna  19:19  
I was yeah, no. No, go ahead.

Mireya  19:22  
When I think, ya no, when, I don't remember if it was, was it Fauci that was saying like for the next 100 days, keep wearing your masks? I wanted to be like, next 200 days.

Gabi Antuna  19:31  
I don't know, I think Mireya was one of the first people I saw out of quarantine. Like in a long time. I just didn't like, I was like, I do not want to see anyone. And then we went to the Texas Lege and that was the day that we're lobbying and stuff like that. But she's kind of the one who like dragged me out of just my little Gabi cave in my apartment. 

Mireya  19:56  
Come on, we got to go fight for abortion rights! 

Gabi Antuna  19:58  
I know

Steve  20:01  
All right, let's take a little break. We're gonna come back and we are going to continue. 

Gabi Antuna  20:05  
We'll be right back.

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Steve  20:52  
Okay, and we are back. How was your little break? 

Gabi Antuna  20:56  
It was good. It's hot. It's hot in my apartment. 

Steve  20:59  
How was your break Mireya? What are you doing? 

Mireya  21:01  
I had to sip some water. 

Steve  21:03  
Same here I'm sipping water from water. I'm sipping water and honey I'm sipping 1186 water and some local honey. It's like orange blossom.

Gabi Antuna  21:14  
I wish I had water by my side. I, the only thing I have next to me is a bottle of barefoot. 

Steve  21:22  
What's barefoot? 

Gabi Antuna  21:23  
It's a wine brand. 

Steve  21:25  
Oh man. 

Mireya  21:26  
It's like a wine product. I don't know if we can call that wine. 

Gabi Antuna  21:31  
It's basically juice. 

Steve  21:34  
Got it. Okay. 

Gabi Antuna  21:36  
All right. Let's dive back into some of the parallels between HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. So, Mireya, what are some of the major similarities observed between the HIV/AIDS crisis and COVID-19? 

Mireya  21:47  
Ah, well, I mean, biologically, they're both viruses however they are, yeah, different kinds of viruses. HIV is a retrovirus. COVID is an encapsulated Coronavirus. They act differently in your physiology, right. But there's a lot of fear within the population. Sometimes we've seen that fear is directed at different people. So with HIV, like we touched on earlier, there was a lot of racism transphobia homophobia that we're not necessarily seeing with COVID, which I think is interesting, for sure. Yeah.

Steve  22:28  
Aren't we seeing, I thought we were seeing some racism with, with um COVID?. Especially against like Asian people. 

Mireya  22:34  
Yeah, that's true. That's true. 

Gabi Antuna  22:36  
Yeah, that was due to Trump's harmful jargon that was used. Right? He called it a certain virus. 

Mireya  22:44  
I think I guess I meant, like racism against the same group in HIV than COVID. 

Steve  22:53  
Yeah, I see. 

Gabi Antuna  22:53  
I know, one thing I wanted to bring up too is I don't know if y'all heard on Sunday. I don't know if you know who Dababy is. But he's like this huge rapper who was on Dua Lipa's? 

Mireya  23:03  

Steve  23:05  

Gabi Antuna  23:05  
Yeah. He said something. I'm gonna pull it up. Let me pull up the exact quote of what he said. But he said something terrible. He was like, for any of y'all in the crowd. He's like, put your lights up if you don't have HIV/AIDS, those nasty viruses and he said that none of his fans were nasty gays. Hmm. He said that on Sunday. And a lot of, he's been getting a lot of backlash for it. And he tried to defend his comment by saying more homophobic things.

Steve  23:33  
Yeah, that made me laugh. Because, that's pretty sad. You're gonna try to defend your comment by saying, 

Gabi Antuna  23:39  
Oh, yeah, you have to go check out the videos because like, he made it so much worse, genuinely. 

Steve  23:45  
We'll put it in the show notes so that way people can see if their interested. 

Gabi Antuna  23:48  
Yeah, for sure. One thing I wanted to talk about also was like Mireya, can you touch on maybe like the politicization of both of the viruses? 

Mireya  23:55  
Yeah. So the, the big thing with, like, during the AIDS crisis was that things weren't moving fast enough. Folks said that, you know, the government wasn't taking it seriously, because of the groups that were primarily affected in the early days. Whereas with COVID, we see almost the opposite. There are a lot of people who think that the government is taking it too seriously, and that there shouldn't be mask mandates. There are folks who don't believe that COVID is even real. Gab, can you attest to COVID being real, 

Gabi Antuna  24:27  
I can attest to COVID being real. I do not feel well y'all

Steve  24:33  
Isn't a lot of this divided down political lines? Hasn't it been politicized, like you said before?

Mireya  24:38  
Yeah, yeah, I think it has been overly politicized. There are some folks who work in public health that say public health shouldn't be politicized. I don't think you can have public health without involv-, involving any kind of policy like that doesn't make sense to me.

Gabi Antuna  24:56  
I think it just has to do with like division with, along party lines, if that makes sense. Like just so many tensions.

Mireya  25:02  
and it's really, it's really difficult because like you'll hear the rhetoric on Fox News or from top Republicans about how there shouldn't be mask mandates, and you shouldn't have to be vaccinated and all of this, yet all of them are vaccinated. Yeah. 

Gabi Antuna  25:14  
Wow. I didn't know that. 

Mireya  25:19  
They're all vaccinated. It's all about their bottom dollar, right, like Fox News is going to make more money if they say these vaccines are dangerous experiments. You know what I mean? Yeah. 

Gabi Antuna  25:32  
Wow. Well, thank you for sharing that. I didn't even know that was happening.

Steve  25:37  
I think, I think Marjorie Green, the congressional representative, she was going through that. She was bad mouthing it. And somebody asked her if she was vaccinated and she said that, that asking her that question was a violation of her HIPAA rights, which it's not, it's not. It's official, gosh, that she has been vaccinated. 

Mireya  25:59  
But she's been vaccinated.

Gabi Antuna  26:01  
The tea of it all. Okay. Well, what are some of the major differences observed between the HIV/AIDS crisis and COVID-19?

Mireya  26:08  
Yeah, I think the biggest one, maybe the, the folks that it's affecting the most with COVID. We see our frontline workers are the ones that are, this is of course before the vaccine, the most at risk, right? Like first responders and people working in a hospital. People working at grocery stores, right? Like, these are the folks that really the people that can't work from home, too. These are folks that we need to get vaccinated for to protect

Gabi Antuna  26:34  
For Sure. 

Steve  26:36  
I still think they're at risk, even with the vaccination. Like I said, in LA County, one out of five people that were vaccinated, still caught it. But 

Mireya  26:46  
Can you link where you found that? 

Steve  26:48  
Yeah, I'll put a link in the notes. But I just got into a big argument with somebody recently online. So I looked it up for myself. And so there was a new thing that just just came out a couple of days ago. So I'll send you a link to that. 

Gabi Antuna  27:00  
Yeah. I think what's also important to know about the vaccine is that it's supposed to if you were to have severe symptoms, it's supposed to lessen it. So you can still contract the virus, there's always that possibility with any vaccine, with most of the vaccines that we have, there's always the possibility, but the point is that it's supposed to be less bad. So right now, I think it's like, it feels like a regular cold for me, except for yesterday. Yesterday, it was awful. I cannot lie. Um, I think it's just supposed to make sure that you aren't, I guess the hospitalization rates are staying lower. So make sure y'all get vaccinated.

Steve  27:32  
How long do the vaccines last for by the way? Do you, how often do you have to get vaccinated?

Gabi Antuna  27:36  
I think that's something they're still doing research on, like genuinely. I think their just trying to see if they can approve it for a booster shot. But I think we're still learning about how frequently we need to be vaccinated and how long it's effective. But Mireya, do you know anything about that? 

Mireya  27:49  
That would be an FDA question. 

Gabi Antuna  27:52  
Yeah, for sure.

Steve  27:55  
So are there any lessons you think that we learned from the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and '90s that we apply to our response to COVID-19? 

Mireya  28:06  
Yeah, we, uh, we know how to end pandemics, we do. We stop spread, right? That HIV is endemic in Texas. We know to use condoms and dental dams, get on PrEP, get tested regularly. When it comes to COVID, we stop that spread differently. We keep masking up, we get vaccinated. If you're already vaccinated, talk to those close to you. If there's somebody in your circle who's vaccine hesitant, have a respectful conversation, right? Talk about their concerns, assuage their fears, offer to go with them if you can to go get vaccinated. You know, I can talk about my public health degree and how mRNA vaccines work till I'm blue in the face. But that's not going to sway people. What's going to change minds is everyday people sharing their experiences. Like I said earlier, y'all are the ones who change the world. If you can encourage one person to get vaccinated, you've saved lives and you've changed the world for the better. 

Steve  29:08  
Well, that was that was very informative. Thank you very much for sharing and enlightening. Should we take a break. Awesome. All right, I guess we're gonna take a break and we'll be back for some final thoughts.

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Gabi Antuna  30:08  
Beep Boop. 

Steve  30:10  
Okay, and we are back. Are we back, you all back? 

Gabi Antuna  30:16  
I'm back. 

Mireya  30:16  
I'm back. 

Steve  30:18  
Yay. Welcome back, everyone. Okay, so. So now this last section, this last. So this last little bit is called Final Thoughts, where we just kind of go around the room and just have some quick last words for final thoughts. And so I'll start it out I just wanted to say, thanks Mireya for being here. It was definitely fun listening to you, very informative. I learned so much today. I want to give a shout out to Planned Parenthood. I think that they are making a big difference. And I want to give a shout out to activists out there you said something, for sure, you said something that, that was pretty important that activists are the ones who make the real positive change and, by changing minds, so I encourage all those that are activists to keep fighting the good fight. And if you're thinking about and you have a good cause, definitely help because the more activists the better off the road is 

Gabi Antuna  31:16  
Yeah, for sure. Mireya, What are your final thoughts? 

Mireya  31:20  
Yeah, my final thoughts are just reiterating take care of yourself be that you know, get tested, get on PrEP, mask up, get vaccinated! Um, Yeah. 

Gabi Antuna  31:33  
Awesome. Well my final thoughts as usual, are that was amazing. You are amazing. You're so informative. We love have, we loved having you on the, on the show, we would love to have you again. If that felt a little overwhelming to our audience, we will have links below on how to get tested for both, for COVID for HIV and STIs, and how to also get vaccinated we will keep, put those links in the show notes below.

Steve  31:58  
Love it. Thank you guys all out there in the audience and the world for listening. And thank you all both for being here today. And for all of you out there in radio land or wherever you are, be safe, have fun and enjoy the apocalypse bye y'all!

Mireya  32:16  
Haha bye yall!

Gabi Antuna  32:18  

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Here at Center for Health Empowerment, we're always looking for solutions. With our teleCHE telehealth services you can take control of your sexual health in the privacy of your own home. Stay home, stay safe, and stay sexy with teleCHE.

Gabi Antuna  33:33  
CHE relief a program of the Center for Health Empowerment aims to bring sustainable development and migration mitigation to Honduras. We're a nonprofit program that is run for the people and by the people bringing a community together to support those who need it most. For more information and to find out ways that you can lend a hand visit us online at

CHEcast is a program of the Center for Health Empowerment a nonprofit sexual health clinic that provides HIV prevention services including PrEP and PEP, HIV testing and care, and STI testing and treatment to our community at little to no cost. We specialize in providing care to people of color and other marginalized communities. We have clinics in both Austin and Dallas and offer convenient telehealth services across Texas. Visit us online at to book your appointment today. Thank you.

Steve  34:19  
That's our show. Thank you for listening. Please Like and Share. Be safe. Have fun and stay awesome!