Lee Hertel is a harm reduction and HIV activist/advocate living in Minneapolis, in the US. If we want to be technical, he has been a drug-user for 42 years, and an IDU for 18 years. He founded and ran an unfunded syringe exchange, Lee’s Rig Hub. The Hub was a network of drug users, drug suppliers and dope houses acting as secondary exchangers and educators that delivered unlimited syringes and naloxone directly to their peers. In 2014 the Lee’s Rig Hub posse members reduced the overdose death rate in the state of Minnesota by 22 percent.
Lee has lived with HIV for far too long now – longer than he ever wanted to and far longer than he ever expected to. He laments harm reduction around the globe being overtaken by bureaucracies, and he is angered by the perversion of our lexicon and philosophies to the point where they are bandied about as if nothing more than corporate buzzwords.
He has lived the power of community and places all his chips on communities ending HIV and the War on Drug Users.