Impac+ NYC is a social community of queer, gay, bi, and trans men living with HIV that meet for weekly happy hours, monthly dinners, brunches, picnics, river cruises, and more!
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impac+NYC formed in 2009 to bring gay men living with HIV in New York together in a weekly social mixer. By 2014, the simple social gathering had evolved into a community with over 300 active members. Over the last several years, impac+NYC has expanded to include monthly dinners and brunches, volunteer activities, fundraisers, picnics, arts walks, beach trips, river cruises, house mixers, and periodic trips to other cities. As of 2018 we have nearly 500 active members.
Michael Hager was diagnosed with HIV in November 2002 in his last year of university in Boston at the age of 22. He quickly got involved in the HIV community in the Boston area through work, but always thought how great it would be if there was something social around HIV, especially since he was so young. When he moved to Washington, DC in 2008, he learned about social activities for gay men with HIV and quickly joined them. Continuing to work in the HIV space, it was great to have a social space to discuss and share what he was up to professionally and how that work struck close to home. When Michael moved to NYC in 2011, he joined impac+NYC, NY’s community for gay men living with HIV and was asked to take the Executive Director role on in the summer of 2014. Since that time, he has worked to create a full board of directors, to share the responsibility of running impac+NYC across people, and to expand the outreach and social activities of impac+NYC. Michael hosts typically hosts committee meetings in his home and sees impac+NYC members as his brothers.
Jeanathan Lei was diagnosed with HIV in September of 1997, 18 days before his 25th birthday at an interesting time in HIV history. 1997 was the year “The Cocktail” was introduced. Jeanathan was young and social, and he did not want to give up any part of his life. Denver had a great network of people doing incredible work within the community and he volunteered with Colorado Aids Project, Project Angel Heart and various others. One of the high points of his time there was producing the fashion for “Ginger Douglas presents The Apocalyptic Ball – The Masquerade” an annual fundraiser for Aidswalk Colorado. When Jeanathan moved to NYC in May of 2012, he was invited to the Poz Happy Hour at The Ritz. From that chance meeting, he found a way to continue spreading the belief that HIV should never be allowed to complicate your life. That HIV is a PART of you, it does not DEFINE you. His goal as Social Director with impac+NYC is to challenge us all to live our best be our most open and the most complete versions of ourselves. To remind us all to love, to laugh and to thrive!