A Family Affair envisions a world where black women living with HIV can live full, healthy, productive, and personally satisfying lives across their lifespan.
Our Mission at AFA is to broaden the base of support for women who identify as black women living with HIV in Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun, SC by introducing and applying innovative approaches and practices to build their resilience to cope with the emotional, physical, and spiritual changes that occur as a result of HIV.
Integrity - the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
Accountability - the fact or condition of being accountable; responsible.
Communication - the imparting or exchanging of information or news
Transparency - the condition of being transparent.
Unity - the state of being united or joined as a whole.
Empathy - the ability to understand or share the feelings of another.
AFA vows to have strong moral principles and to always be honest. We will clarify our responsibilities by staying true to our mission and communicating the latest information and news to the community. AFA will be transparent, while empowering black women and raising their awareness and representation. We will be unified while serving the community and expressing empathy for one another's vulnerabilities as we seek to understand our paths and how to use them to reach other black women along the way.
After several conversations with three black persons living with HIV wowed by information presented at a three-day SCHIV/STD conference, the idea of A Family Affair was formed. Our founder Pat Kelly spoke with her Pastor and shared with him her story of living with HIV and the need for a support group. Bishop Michael C. Butler of Victory Tabernacle Deliverance Temple gave his approval and dedicated an office space for the ministry to come to light. Victory Tabernacle Deliverance Temple was also home of The Minority AIDS Council of Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun Counties ran by Shirley Jones. The ministry was spread by Pat passing out flyers and inviting everyone in the community to participate.
The support group was unique because it was open to individuals living with HIV and those impacted by it. Thus, the name was born! “If I am a person living with HIV then my whole family is affected, and it becomes "A FAMILY AFFAIR.” As time passed, A Family Affair Living Our Best Life grew to be more than just a support group, it was an outreach that educated the youth and the community.
Our organization gave a personal perspective on HIV through testimonies given by black people living with HIV. AFA facilitated several prevention interventions in the community and created a place for spiritual, emotional, and physical support for all those living with and affected by HIV. After reevaluation, our focus shifted to helping black women living with HIV especially those 50 or older.
AFA received their first grant from Project Faith from the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council and grew to become very active in the community. AFA was able to establish several partnerships including The Minority AIDS Council of Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun Counties, and The MC Butler Community Development Center.
A Family Affair Living Our Best Life also created the Afghan of life, which represented community individuals living with HIV and their year of diagnosis. The Serenity Garden was also created as a memorial to those that who have lost their life to the devastating disease HIV. Located behind the church, several people gather yearly to celebrate those that are still here.