The Gifts of Gratitude

The Gifts of Gratitude

Gratitude, and the many means by which it can be practiced, is a powerful resource for anyone working to build emotional and physical resilience in their lives, whether in recovery from an addiction, struggling through a difficult period, or managing a physical illness.


(This is a repost from the original by David Fawcett at

Fawcett Chairs SunServe Conference on HIV/AIDS and Seniors

Individuals over the age of 50 represent half of all people living with HIV and they face challenges from both aging and HIV. On Friday, March 31st Dr. Fawcett attended and presented at the 2017 HIV/AIDS Seniors Conference sponsored by SunServe and AIDS United. Serving as conference chair, he assembled a panel of nationally known experts to address issues unique to this population. For example, even if the person is virally repressed, accelerated aging occurs which can lead to cardiological, liver and kidney issues, as well as bone problems. In addition, there are very few resources for psychosocial support of people who are aging with HIV and AIDS.

The conference was open to anyone who self-identified as a senior. While it is easy to assume seniors with HIV are long-term survivors, this is not always the case since seniors represent a significant group of new cases of HIV. The conference consisted of two tracks, one for professionals and one track for the community. Dr. Fawcett opened the conference and participated in panels for care of “body, mind and spirit” as well as a closing panel. That workshop, “The Next Frontier: Building a Collaborative Community of Care” consisted of Fawcett, and other panel members including Mark King, Nelson Vergel, and Bruce Richman. King is an author, HIV/AIDS advocate, long-term survivors of HIV, and two-time GLAAD Media Award nominee for his blog, My Fabulous Disease. King believes his diagnosis is not a tragedy but something to embrace and utilize to make change. Vergel is also a long-term survivor of HIV and the author of two books, Built to Survive and Testosterone: A Man’s Guide. Vergel believes in using testosterone and hormone replacement therapies to prevent AIDS wasting and extending life. Bruce Richman has been living with HIV since 2003 and is the cofounder of Prevention Access Campaign. Richman’s mission is to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma. Prevention Access Campaign’s message of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) is about getting the word out that people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot transmit HIV, and that there is no shame in being HIV positive.

Over 100 people attended the conference, which was held at the Center for Spiritual Living in Oakland Park, Florida. Conference attendee Dr. Alicia Bosley, staff therapist at SunServe who works with newly diagnosed HIV-positive clients as well as long-term HIV survivors stated, “What a wonderful conference! I was able to connect with professionals in the area and learn new things to apply to my practice with people living with HIV. I was impressed by the insight and clinical knowledge of Dr. Fawcett and the humorous but inspirational anecdotes of Mark King.” The HIV/AIDS and Seniors conference is just the beginning of more conferences like this in the future.

Fawcett Presents Book Reading and Workshop in New York

On December 13, 2015 Dr. Fawcett presented a reading and discussion called “After Meth: Rebuilding Your Life, Intimacy and Sex” to a packed house at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division at the LGBTQ Center in New York.  Based on his book “Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery,” Fawcett outlined key points about the physiological and psychological impact of methamphetamine as well as critical skills and tools to promote recovery and healing. After his presentation and reading, Dr. Fawcett had a lively question and answer session with the attendees followed by a reception.


Portions of the workshop are available on video:

“Why I Wrote this Book”

“After Meth Part 1”

“After Meth Part 2”

Fawcett Presents at International Stigma Conference

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Dr. Fawcett participated in the 6th International Conference on Stigma at Howard University in Washington, DC on Friday, November 20, 2015.  He served on the planning committee leading up to this year’s assembly, which expanded beyond HIV-related stigma to include mental health, addictions, and other types of stigmatized identities and behaviors. The conference featured a number of internationally-known speakers such as Megan McLemore of Human Rights Watch and Sean Strub, founder of POZ magazine and The Sero Project.

Fawcett moderated a panel called “Not Alone: Insights for Individuals Dealing with Stigma and Shame” which focused on the experience of internalized stigma and interventions to help people overcome it. Other panelists included Mark S. King (@MyFabulousDisease) and Dave Watt (@MisterFriendly).  The conference concluded with an evening of musical entertainment.


Flakka, Meth, and New Synthetic Drugs

On November 7, Dr. Fawcett participated in Sunserve’s 12th Annual LGBT Quality Care Conference held this year at Barry University in Miami Shores. Over 120 mental health professionals attended a variety of workshops geared for those interested in starting work with this population, as well as more advanced topics.

Dr. Fawcett addressed the growing problem of synthetic drugs which are creating both psychological and medical crises across Florida and, increasingly, around the nation. His talk, “NEW SYNTHETICS ON THE STREET: FLAKKA, PSYCHEDELICS, AND ‘INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH’ METH” contained abundant information on this emerging crisis.

Dr. Fawcett with colleague Kris Drumm LCSW at the 12th Annual LGBT Quality Care Conference.

Understanding the Impact of Meth on HIV

In May Dr. Fawcett, a recognized expert in methamphetamine in the gay community, presented a standing-room only workshop called “Meth, Men, and HIV: What Social Workers Need to Know” at Boston College’s 27th Annual Conference on Social Work and AIDS in New Orleans. This presentation provided advanced clinical training for mental health professionals who specialize in HIV and co-occurring disorders.


High-Risk Populations and HIV

Presentation from the NASW Florida Conference, Orlando, June 2015

Download NASW 2015 HIV

Aids ribbon

Boston College Social Work and HIV Conference 2015

Click to download a pdf copy of METH, MEN, AND HIV: WHAT SOCIAL WORKERS NEED TO KNOW: Meth Men HIV
New orleans

Worthiness and self love

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