Rationale: The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be a major public health challenge in men of color especially in the African-American community. In 2002, African Americans comprised about 50% of the 42,000 AIDS cases diagnosed among adults in the United States, and also accounted for more than half of the HIV diagnoses that were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Amongst these, the rate of diagnoses among African-American men was almost nine times greater than the rate for white men. While several successful intervention programs have been developed, evaluated, and implemented for African-American men who have sex with men, African-American women, and African-American adolescents, there only a limited number of prevention programs that have been implemented for heterosexual men of color.(Essien et al, 2005; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.)
Straight Up! will establish itself as an HIV prevention program that is specific to the need of heterosexual men of color in Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding area.
Challenges: There is a lack of risk awareness among 16-35 year old heterosexual men of color whom are at their peak of sexual behavior and involved in constant relationship negotiation. There are too few role models that can influence behavioral outcomes and there is a limited awareness of HIV knowledge and skill building, which is necessary to the practice of safer sex.
Target Population: High-risk 16-35 year old heterosexual men of color in the 19104 and 19139 zip code
Components of the Program: Straight Up is comprised of four major components outlined below:
• Increased Community Presence and Health Promotion
o Collaborate with existing community-based organizations that provide services to men to promote Straight Up by using our program logo and marketing campaign.
o Provide outreach within identified communities
o Link men to appropriately identified medical centers that will be sensitive to the needs of heterosexual men.
• Multifaceted Educational Program
o Facilitate an HIV prevention educational curriculum known as NIA: A Program of Purpose for African-American Men within identified community organizations.
o Faciliate one-time HIV educational sessions to encourage heterosexual men to get tested for HIV and become aware of their risk factors.
o Mentoring through peer counselors
o Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will serve as a mechanism to link participants with male positive role models from within the community.
• Screening and Counseling
o Participate in community events (health fairs, etc.) to conduct mass screenings.
o Provide community resources to men during their testing session
For more information please contact 215-985-6837 or visit our website at www.circleofcarephilly.org
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