February 24, 2016
Julie Lewis, 30-year HIV survivor and mother to Grammy award winning producer, Ryan Lewis, believes in the power of educating, encouraging action, volunteerism and compassion to further the quality of life and health options for all individuals. With this passion and dedication, she and the Lewis family founded the 30/30 Project in April of 2014.
In 1984, Julie Lewis gave birth to her first daughter, Teresa. Due to a complicated pregnancy she received a blood transfusion and in that moment was infected with HIV. When she was finally diagnosed in 1990, she was given only a few years to live. By that time she had already given birth to two other children, Laura and Ryan. Although they each had a 25% chance of being born HIV+ they were extremely fortunate and were not infected. (With ARV treatment the risk of mother to child transmission is now less that 2%). Thanks to advanced medicine and healthcare available here in the U.S. Julie has lived despite her odds. 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of Julie being HIV+.
Wanting to find a way to celebrate her amazing journey she launched the 30/30 Project to have a positive impact on the lives of other women, girls, and families who haven’t had the same access to the healthcare opportunities that she has had.
The 30/30 Project seeks to bring healthcare facilities to communities impacted by HIV/AIDS, as well as offering compressive general healthcare access to those who need it most. Through the 30/30 Project and Construction for Change, Julie seeks to build 30 medical centers worldwide that will sustain for at least 30 years, the first of which will be built in Malawi and Kenya.
Along with founding the 30/30 Project, since 2011 Julie has worked as the Co-Director of Global Partnership Development for Construction for Change. A former Science teacher, Julie has over 15 years of experience in the public service sector as a public health educator, working with the Spokane Regional Health District and the Spokane AIDS Network.