The Veil of Secrecy Removed – Breaking the Generational Curse Regarding HIV & Substance Misuse (Webinar Recording)

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The Veil of Secrecy Removed – Breaking the Generational Curse Regarding HIV & Substance Misuse
Zina Age, LMSW, MAC

July 19, 2023, 1:00pm-2:30pm EST


Life unleashed an era of addictions and disease among communities that are marginalized. The 'Veil of Secrecy’ has cross-contaminated the lifestyles of those that are incarcerated, rural, youth, elderly, men, women and the LGBTQ communities. Secrecy nurtures disease because it provides an environment conducive to the spread of infection. Over the last forty years many of us have come to know about a virus with a cure that has so far eluded us. Some of us learned about this virus through news reports, others encounter the devastation of this virus on a more personal level. African American men and women account for a large number of new cases of those infected with HIV/AIDS. We could recite statistics, but that won’t save us. We are still often too silent in the places where we seek peace, cry and shout praises the most. We have to deal with the silent stigma/trauma that is ravaging our communities from a holistic perspective addressing secrecy, shame and guilt. The underserved multicultural population is affected in many ways including social economic, substance misuse, mental health, sex working, sex abuse history, and lifestyles associated with trauma informed care. This webinar is designed to address the silent stigma of HIV/AIDS and its connection to addictions in the United States. Sexually transmitted diseases and other health disparities combined with addiction issues are catastrophically affecting underserved communities. The 'Veil of Secrecy' offers service providers practical approaches to dealing with addictions and silence stigma from a holistic harm reduction perspective.


  • Describe secrecy, shame & guilt regarding addictions and HIV/AIDS
  • Identify a practical approach to dealing with addictions and silence stigma from a holistic perspective
  • Describe addictions in multicultural underserved communities


Zina Age headshot

Zina Age, LMSW, MAC, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and a graduate of Louisiana State University, holds a graduate degree in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University and a Masters in Addiction Counseling from the National Association of Forensic Counselors. Zina began working in the social services field in 1987, serving African American populations affected by HIV/AIDS and other health disparities. In 1996, she founded Aniz, Inc., which is dedicated to providing therapeutic education and support services for children and families from disadvantaged multicultural communities infected with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS.  Ms. Age has served on many national and local committees dedicated to educating people about issues surrounding HIV and is a noted public speaker that has been invited to serve as a panelist, guest presenter and keynote speaker at various universities, conferences and forums in the U.S. and abroad. She has delivered engaging presentations on topics such as, but not limited to: Undercover Community Mental Health and Substance Use Issues, HIV/AIDS Prevention and Risk Reduction Programs, Holistic Harm Reduction, the Inter-Generational spread of HIV/AIDS, Homophobia, Transphobia and Gender-phobia in the Black LGBT community, and Combating the “Secrecy, Shame and Guilt” surrounding HIV/AIDS issues.


July 19, 2023
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