Client Spotlight: Hulda
Hulda became a client of Shanti in 1994, three years after she was diagnosed with HIV. At that time San Francisco had numerous HIV support groups, but services for women were not widely available. Hulda approached this problem, as always, with poise. In the course of seeking out resources, she sparked relationships and built connections within the existing support groups; making space for herself until others began to hold it for her.
A San Francisco resident for more than 40 years, Hulda is a respected community leader and advocate. Charm, compassion, and style underpin Hulda’s approach. At Shanti, her openness and willingness to be vulnerable have established her as resource and maternal figure for other clients. In the larger community her insight, non-judgmental care, and style have landed her on boards and on the sides of Muni buses.
She is a board member with Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases (WORLD) Committee, the Black Health Center of Excellence, and is a member of Shanti’s HIV Services Client Advisory Board. For many years, Hulda has empowered classes of new volunteers as a client panelist for the Shanti Peer Support Trainings. We recognize that Hulda’s presence and aplomb on the panel allays the nerves of new volunteers and crystallizes their connection to Shanti’s work.
Through her experiences, she is able to share her unique skills identifies, synthesizes and speaks to ways that everyone in the room can work in greater collaboration to learn from the challenges. In addition, Hulda is the proud mother of two sons, Raymond and Victor. She teaches HIV education to students at Castro Valley High School and attends Shanti’s Older & Positive group.