UNC Department of Medicine Feature - "Farel and Mathews, Honored with Red Ribbon Awards"

Allison Mathews, PhD, was honored for her work with the community during the 2018 Red Ribbon Awards.

Mathews is a postdoctoral research fellow in UNC’s Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases, where she leads the 2BeatHIV project. She received the Caressa White Education & Program Development Award, which honors someone who educates the community and manages programs for and about HIV. Mathews’s 2BeatHIV project uses crowdsourcing contests to develop new ways to engage the community with HIV cure research. Learn more about how she connects with the community through 2BeatHIV.

“It means so much to be honored with an award named for Caressa White Harding, who is a fierce representation of the type of leadership and tenacity needed to end the HIV epidemic,” said Mathews. “I only hope that I can honor her name and the work of countless others who came before me to educate the public about HIV cure research and advocate on behalf of the marginalized and underserved. The HIV community has embraced me with open arms. They’re family.”

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Allison Mathews
Until the Cure: 2BeatHIV Celebrates HIV Cure Research Day 2017

The city of Durham as well as the state of North Carolina has officially proclaimed December 14th as HIV Cure Research Day and this is a major milestone for the 2BeatHIV project. 2BeatHIV is a research project based at UNC’s Institute for Global Health and Infectious Disease and Department of Social Medicine. They are the actual fieldwork involved in examining social and moral aspects of curing HIV. This is their second annual celebration for HIV Cure Research Day.

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Allison Mathews
3 Ways to Harness the Untapped Power of Black Consumers to use PrEP

We in the Black community are not surprised that “Hidden Figures” did so well in the box office because the movement to support “Black first” is resurfacing. Black buying power has always been a major source of strength — from demanding civil rights to determining how businesses cater to our communities. Even though individuals within the Black community do not have much individual wealth, the collectivebuying power within the Black community reached nearly $1.2 trillion in 2016 according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. Ironically, Black people continue to be underserved in most sectors of society, including health care. What if we changed the way we provided health services to the most vulnerable populations, like people with low-income in Black communities, by treating them as powerful consumers?    

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Allison Mathews
My story drives my work - I am a daughter of Coin Coin

As a child, I heard stories of how the matriarch of our family, a former slave named Marie Therese Coin-Coin (1742 – 1816), earned her freedom and bought her children out of slavery in Louisiana. As a planter and trader, she became one of the first independently wealthy Black women in the United States. As a result, my Franco-African ancestors founded a community on Cane River in Louisiana that had family, faith, entrepreneurship, and collective well-being at its center.

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Allison Mathews
I Choose Me: Why I Wear Red for #HIVAwareness #2BeatHIV

August 10, 2011 marks the day I decided to choose me. I had recently gotten married to a man I was in a relationship with for seven years. On the surface, everything seemed great between us. We often publicly shared photos together on social media, wrote love poems about each other, and he even wrote songs about me. Our wedding was absolutely beautiful, with over 200 guests, a 16-person wedding party, a beautiful wedding gown, and a grandiose reception hall. But secretly, we were both in a pit of dysfunction, co-dependency, and depression.

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Allison Mathews