CAN PSA – Opioid Epidemic and HIV

July 27, 2017

A big thank you to the talent, some of whom stepped out of their comfort zone in an effort to raise awareness:  CEO Rick Carlisle, Chief of Program Services John Acevedo, Senior HIV Prevention Specialist Serena Miller, Administrative Assistant Keenan Jenkins, Chief Advancement Officer Peggy Calhoun, Peer Navigator Lyndsay Connors, and PrEP Navigator David White.


Palmetto Mayor Bryant Attends CAN Ribbon Cutting

July 28, 2017

Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant was present at a ribbon cutting presented by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce on Friday, July 28, 2017. A lifelong resident of Palmetto, Mayor Bryant has been involved in city government as a volunteer or elected official for over 30 years. Mayor Bryant expressed appreciation for the services CAN provides to the community in support of those with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and STDs.

CAN and Mexican Consulate Community Event

Nadine Young, SNN
July 22, 2017

The Mexican Consulate and Community AIDS Network came together to help residents of the Palmetto community. “It’s the first time in this great city and I don’t believe how many Mexicans  community is here,” said Consul Juan Sabines Guerrero. Chief Executive of Program Services, John Acevedo says they are filling in a missing gap.   (Link to SNN Report)

To Fight the HIV Epidemic, We Need the Black Church

By Dr. Marjorie Innocent
Senior Director of Health Programs at the NAACP
July 18, 2017

Black Churches are more than places of worship. They are the vibrant hearts of the African-American community that bring the Gospel into our lives, inspire faith, grace, love and mercy and foster a deep commitment to service. For centuries, Black Churches and faith leaders have been at the forefront of the struggle for civil rights, including voting rights and the right to a quality education. And we need the Black Church’s leadership for another adversary: HIV.  (more…)

METV’s Your Suncoast Health with Alix Redmonde and Vilma Vega, MD

July 20, 2017

Vilma Vega, M.D., CAN’s Medical Director who practices out of Clearwater Comprehensive Care center breaks down everything you want to know about Hepatitis C.

Brenda M. Letts Achieves Board Certification

July 18, 2017

Comprehensive Care Center, Inc. dba Community AIDS Network (CAN) is proud to announce Brenda M. Letts, CMPE, Practice Administrator at the Comprehensive Care Center in St. Petersburg, has earned the professional designation of Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) by the American College of Medical Practice Executives, the certification entity of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). (more…)

Richard E. Carlisle Live on SNN Discussing 340B

SNN Newsroom
July 18, 2017

Community Aids Network CEO Rick Carlisle stopped by the studio to talk with Grant and Nicole.  (Link to SNN Report)

Free Testing by CAN on National HIV Testing Day

Samantha Sonner
June 27, 2017

The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. According to the CDC, one in every 7 people living with HIV is unaware of their condition. HIV Prevention Specialist with the Community Aids Network Jimmy Laza says getting tested is the best way to prevent the spread of HIV. “It’s a 15 minute test,” Laza said. “It’s free of charge, and everyone should be able to go and participate and get tested,” Laza said. “And one of the reasons is, everyone wants to know his status.”  (Link to SNN Report)

National HIV Testing Day

SNN Newsroom
June 27, 2017

Today is national HIV testing day. John Acevedo of Community Aids Network, CAN, talks about the importance of getting tested for HIV.  Florida ranked #3 in the nation for HIV cases, but is #1 for newly diagnosed cases.

To find a testing centers near you visit: Results are available in as little as 15 minutes.  (Link to SNN Report)

Pride Month – Different Generations, Different Perspective

Nicole Sommavilla – SNN
June 21, 2017

Thousands of people are getting ready for this weekend’s St. Petersburg Pride Parade, but some Baby Boomers are concerned with a lack of interest and understanding in Millennials and Generation Z.

“The generation a step right before us did all the leg work, they did all the work that they needed to do to make it so that our generation right now can enjoy being alive,” says William Williams. He plans on marching in the 2017 St. Pete Pride Parade to show he’s no different than anyone else, but Williams knows it’s a right many people his age take for granted.  (Click for SNN story)



CAN Supports National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, a day to get the facts, get tested, and get involved!

Community AIDS Network is supporting National HIV Testing Day by providing free testing at 4210 East State Road 64, Bradenton, FL 34208 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm.  (more…)

CAN Opens Palmetto Facility

June 10, 2017

CAN celebrated the opening of their newest facility on Florida’s Suncoast on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The stand-alone building sits prominently in the middle of Palmetto in Manatee County. The majority of CAN staff at this location are bilingual to accommodate the many Spanish speaking people in the community.  (Click for SNN story)

HIV Education and Testing Center Now Open in Palmetto

Erika Jackson, ABC7
June 10, 2017

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, attacks the body’s immune system and can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus, or AIDS. Florida’s Community Aids Network is working to educate and diagnose Suncoast patients in its brand new facility.  (Click for ABC7 story)


Suncoast Man Inspires With His Transition Story

By Nicole Sommavilla – SNN
June 6, 2017

A Suncoast man is sharing his transition story hoping to help others. (Mason Fitzpatrick is a Prevention Specialist at Community AIDS Network)

“The only way that I can explain it is living 24 years and feeling like my entire body was chained to the ground, that no matter what I did or said, I was never free,” says Mason Fitzpatrick as he thinks back to his childhood. (more…)

Nati Shabat Joins CAN’s Board

June 6, 2017

Community AIDS Network (CAN) is proud to announce the appointment of Nati Shabat to its board of directors. (more…)

HIV Prevention, Statistics, Treatment and Hope on METV

June 5, 2017

CAN’s President and CEO Rick Carlisle, Chief of Program Services John Acevedo and Peer Program Manager Valerie Wojciechowicz discuss HIV prevention, statistics, treatment and hope on METV.  (METV YouTube Link)

June is Pride Month – A Look at LGBTQIA

By Nicole Sommavilla – SNN
June 5, 2017

June is National Pride Month and the LGBT community is growing. What was once a four letter term is now seven. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, “Maybe even the last 5 or 8 years some of the other letters were added,” says Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clark West. (Click here for SNN report.)

Potential Budget Cuts May Affect CAN and Clients

May 24, 2017

CAN’s Chief of Program Services, John Acevedo, appears in report on SNN sharing valuable information on how budget cuts may affect CAN and our clients. (Click here for SNN report)

Introductions for CANDance 2017 Held

SNN, May 9, 2017

Introductions for CANDance 2017 were held Monday evening at a cocktail party at Michael’s On East. CANDance is the annual fundraiser for the Community Aids Network. It’s Sarasota’s version of, dancing with the stars, as local celebrities are paired with a professional dancer and prepare a dance routine for the event on October 21st. With their 26 clinics throughout Florida, can serves over 10,000 patients who are living with HIV/Aids. This year is the 18th annual CANDance, and it’s poised to be the best one yet.

This year’s local celebs include Pine View School’s Principal, a Lawyer and SNNTV’s own Ben Bobick!  (Click here for SNN report)

CAN is Stage Sponsor at Harvey Milk Festival

May 11 – 13, 2017
Five Points Park, Sarasota

Community AIDS Network is proud to be the stage sponsor for the Harvey Milk Festival, recognizing the organization’s efforts to support diversity and reject discrimination, promoting equality for LGBTQ people through supporting equal rights legislation. (more…)

HIV Prevention Drug – Experts Call It A Game Changer

By Nicole Sommavilla, SNN
May 3, 2017

SARASOTA – Experts are calling it a game changer. A drug designed not to treat HIV, but to protect someone from contracting it. More than 70 million diagnosed since the start of the epidemic. Still no cure for HIV, but with a preventative drug, there’s hope to stop the spread. It’s called PrEP.  Click here for SNN report.

Elliott Mitchell Joins CAN’s Board

April 27, 2017

Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce the appointment of Elliott Mitchell to its board of directors. (more…)

Hepatitis C Drugs Approved for Pediatric Use

Samantha Somer, SNN
April 26, 2017

Hepatitis-C is curable, but the youngest patients haven’t been able to benefit from groundbreaking treatment, until now. Hepatitis-C drugs were just approved by the FDA for pediatric use. Plenty of Public Service Announcements tell Baby Boomers to be tested for Hepatitis-C, but parents might not know kids can have it. “I have a 4-year-old son,” Patricia Dore said. “And he falls down and bleeds all the time, so I can understand it. It was a surprise to me, but I could totally understand where that would happen.” While her son may be too young for many of the risk factors for transmitting the disease, if he does get it as a teenager, new drugs were recently approved to cure the disease. “Can cure it? That’s amazing!” Dore said.  Click here for SNN Report.

Baby Boomers! You’re Especially at Risk for this Disease

Nicole Sommavilla, SNN
April 17, 2017

Calling all baby boomers. Doctors say you’re especially at risk for a disease that many times, comes without symptoms. Approximately 3.5 million people are infected, 75 percent are baby boomers. We’re talking about hepatitis C.  “That’s first because we didn’t know about the virus in early years, in early decades, and unfortunately many people in that age category did things in their youth that might have led to get infected,” says Dr. Stephen Nicholas, Chief Medical Director at Community AIDS Network.  Click here for to SNN Report

“The First Time Club”

March 31, 2017

As reported by SNN, “The First Time Club” provides entertainment with a message. Click here for full story.


Testing for Liver Damage Without a Biopsy

Samantha Sonner, SNN
March 30, 2017

SNN’s Samantha Sonner reports on the benefits of using CAN’s mobile non-invasive liver Fibroscan unit as an alternative to invasive liver biopsies. (Click here for SNN report)


Non-Profit Spotlight – Community AIDS Network

The Bradenton Times
May 30, 2017
Dennis Maley

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Florida leads the nation in new HIV diagnoses, with young people and seniors among those most at risk. The Community AIDS Network (CAN), a locally-based non-profit, has been on a mission for over 25 years to reduce outbreaks in our community, while providing essential services to those living with the disease.  Link to article (more…)

FOX13 HIV Drug Segment

FOX13 segment with Dr. Joette Giovinco
March, 2017

CAN’s Debbie Sergi-Laws and Dr. Brian Elliott appear in a FOX13 segment on HIV drugs, and the experimental drug called Pro 140.

Community AIDS Network Supports Manatee Pride 2017

Valerie Fisher
February 17, 2017

The LGBTQ Pride event, fundraiser for Prism Youth Initiative, is being held March 18th at the Bradenton Riverwalk on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Click here for more information.


Darwin Brewing Makes Special Beer for Manatee Pride

The Manatee County Pride Festival returns to Bradenton next week, sponsored by Community AIDS Network, and this year it will have its own drink for adults. (more…)

Women Raising Awareness about HIV

March 8, 2017

The topics of HIV and sexual health were covered by women on the Suncoast. Community Aids Network and the Sarasota Y-Achievers collaborated Tuesday night at an event at Michael’s on East. Attendees at the event learned from Serena Miller, Senior Prevention Specialist at CAN, who discussed the importance of women discussing matters of sexual health with their daughters. Dining with My Daughter is part of the 5th annual National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day. Click here for the complete story.

Challenge of Finding a Dentist when HIV Positive

March 6, 2017

Finding a good dentist when you are HIV positive presents one of the biggest challenges. CAN’s Debbie Sergie-Laws, Peer Navigator, and John Acevedo, Chief of Program Services, speaks of stigma to Nicole Sommavilla of SNN, the Suncoast News Network. Click here for the full story.

CAN’s Miguel Nieves Acknowledged in USF Article

By Rich Shopes, USF
February 24, 2017

Miguel Nieves hadn’t given much thought to the non-profit sector, but when an opportunity came up at the Community AIDS Network (CAN), part of the Comprehensive Care Center, the USF Sarasota-Manatee MBA student and USF alum (Class of ’11) started thinking seriously about a career change.  (more…)

Do Reporting Laws Stop the Spread of HIV?

February 15, 2017

As reported by SNN, Florida Law makes it a misdemeanor or even a felony to knowingly have an HIV or another STD and have sex with another person without first disclosing your status. To see the full report, click here.

CAN’s Richard E. Carlisle Interviewed on SNN

February 5, 2017

CAN’s president and CEO, Rick Carlisle, explained in a live interview on the Suncoast News Network how CAN offers hope to those living with HIV and AIDS. Click here for the full SNN report.

CAN’s Outreach Team Featured on SNN

February 5, 2017

CAN’s Outreach Team of HIV Prevention Specialists and educators recently participated in a Health Fair at Fredd Atkins Park in Sarasota promoting National Black HIV Awareness and offering HIV and health tests. Click here for full SNN report.

CAN Supports National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 5, 2017

It’s a disease that can affect each and every one of us, but one group finds itself especially hard hit. National Black HIV Awareness Day is February 7th. It’s a disease once associated with gay men, but Serena Miller with Community AIDS Network says it doesn’t discriminate based on sex, skin color, or culture. “HIV affects everyone in every community in every racial background,” says Miller. Click here for full SNN report.


CAN Supports NFAN’s 12th Annual Dining Out For Life Event

February 1, 2017

Dine Out, Fight AIDS

Participating Jacksonville restaurants will contribute 25% or more of their day’s food, beverage and liquor sales to support Northeast Florida AIDS Network (NFAN) on April 27, 2017. (more…)

Healthy Living Classes at CAN

Starting January 3, 2017, “Healthy Living” classes with Eve Plews, LNC, IFMCP will begin the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm at the CAN office. (more…)

Rev. Demetrius Jifunza Joins CAN’s Board

Sarasota, Florida (November 29, 2016) – Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 25th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce the appointment of Reverend Demetrius Jifunza to its board of directors.  (more…)

Community AIDS Network Celebrates 25 Years

Anna Brugmann, Staff Writer
Sarasota Observer

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It’s been 25 years since the Community AIDS Network opened its doors with a mission to increase awareness and stem the spread of AIDS. Twenty-five years later, its mission remains the same, but its reach has greatly expanded. Community AIDS Network CEO Richard Carlisle said AIDS was an epidemic when the organization was founded in 1991. (more…)

CAN 25th Anniversary Party and Dedication of Memorial Garden

On November 17th, CAN will host a cocktail party from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on its beautiful new deck at the headquarters office in Sarasota, surrounded by gardens designed by Robert Davie. The highlight is the premiere of a song cycle “Living with AIDS” composed by world renowned opera composer Thomas Pasatieri and sung by internationally acclaimed opera singers. This extraordinary event is being chaired by Margaret Wise, Charlie Huisking and Carolyn Michel. Tickets are $150 and $250. Call (941) 366-0461 x1030.

Dr. Stephen P. Nicholas Joins CAN as Chief Medical Officer

Sarasota, Florida (November 10, 2016) – Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 25th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce Stephen P. Nicholas, MD, MBA has joined CAN as its Chief Medical Officer.  (more…)

Attendees Celebrate CANDance 2016

Lights, cameras and dancers went on display at the 17 Annual CANDance at Michael’s On East, October 22, 2016 from 6:30 to 10:30 pm. The annual dance celebration raises funds for patient care and HIV/AIDS research.  SNN Report

CAN and Lutheran Social Services Join Forces

Sarasota, Florida (October 25, 2016) – Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 25th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce a joint venture with Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida (LSS) in Jacksonville.  (more…)

Community AIDS Network Expands in Sarasota

Community AIDS Network, or CAN, is expanding its operations in Sarasota to accommodate growing business needs throughout the state of Florida. ABC 7’s Alix Redmonde reports that CAN’s new community care administration center not only addresses the business needs of the organization’s multiple clinics throughout the state, but is also the center of its educational outreach program. (Report) (more…)

CANDance 16

CANDance 16 will be held on October 22, 2016 at Michael’s on East at 6:30 pm. Sarasota’s most exciting evening will fill the dance floor with 6 local celebrities! It has been named one of the 10 “events of the season” and shouldn’t be missed. Event Co-Chairs Penny Hill, Jackie Rogers, Emily Walsh and Susan Jones.


CAN is a “Salute to Business” Honoree

On August 22, 2016 Community AIDS Network received the following message from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce:

Congratulations to Community AIDS Network for being awarded a “Top 9” spot at our 5th Annual Salute to Business Awards at the Annual Meeting and Luncheon on October 7 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. We are very excited to present an award to your company in the Investing in the Future category! We applaud Community AIDS Network for their investment in their building and to continue to provide services to the greater Sarasota community.

We are honored and excited to receive this award from the Sarasota Chamber as we celebrate our 25th year serving our clients and community!

CAN Reaches GuideStar Plantinum Level

Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 25th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, has achieved the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile level. GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information about nonprofit organizations and a leader in advancing transparency in the nonprofit sector. This level demonstrates Community AIDS Network’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.


Importance of HIV Testing

By Alix Redmonde, ABC7
June 27, 2016

July 27 is National HIV Testing Day. According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t even know they have the virus.

Florida’s numbers of new HIV cases are among the highest in the nation.  (See broadcast)