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Project of Intermediate Advocates: Bringing health information to the community

Abdul-Ali Muhammad, President of PIA, Project of Intermediate Advocates (PIA), 2412 Minnesota Ave. SE, Ste. B2, Washington, DC 20020, 202/581-7800, PIA1847@aol.com and Gail Thomas, Project of Intermediate Advocates, 2412 Minnesota Ave. SE, Ste. B2, Washington, DC 20020.

The Project of Intermediate Advocates (PIA) is a community health advocacy organization that works to address health disparities in historically underserved communities in Washington, DC. We do this by encouraging people to learn about their health through the Internet. A central project is the A.H.E.A.D. Initiative Training, which involves health fairs/outreach sessions and computer training in accessing health information, especially in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

As part of the A.H.E.A.D. Initiative, free monthly training sessions are offered throughout the Mid Atlantic region for residents, clients, and staff of community health organizations. These sessions focus on accessing information provided online by The National Library of Medicine (NLM)óMedlineplus, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV/AIDS organizations, and Community resources in, education, housing, jobs, and child and family care. A special emphasis is on translating public health information in order to open avenues for communication about health and disease. Special emphasis is also placed on encouraging individuals to take charge of their own health through early disease testing and health education. PIA also conducts A.H.E.A.D. training sessions at its office site specifically for HIV-positive persons, who then may enroll in a stipend program to perform community demonstrations of the A.H.E.A.D. training.

PIA forged a partnership with Health Information Consulting Services, LLC (HICS). This partnership is designed to offer a certificate-based hands-on computer workshop to people in rural areas. PIA and HICS are developing teams of HIV positive clients. These clients are trained to teach other positive individuals to use technology for medical web page navigation and self-education in health topics of interest. These HIV positive presenters then visit HIV/AID day treatment centers and community associations to demonstrate health resources with the use of technology. Their aim is to invite and direct people to our training workshop.

Partners: PIA partners local organizations to specifically address health literacy by providing the A.H.E.A.D. Initiative training to HIV positive clients and the general public. These organizations include The National Library of Medicine of NIH, George Washington University Medical Research Center, D.C. Department of Health's HIV/AIDS Administration, Health Information Partners (HIPS), Health Information Consulting Services (HICS), Morgan State University, Bowie State University, and DC Public Libraries.

Key Points (base location): South East Washington, DC is a historically underserved community. HIV infection rates in Washington, DC have been compared to some of the most devastating countries in Africa and South East D.C. is greatly challenged. PIA contends that access to Health- related information (particularly on HIV/AIDS prevention) is crucial to address this problem. PIA is aggressively addressing health literacy by using HIV positive individuals to teach web navigation skills in health information research.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants in this session will be able to

Keywords: Community Education, HIV/AIDS

Related Web page: PIAadvocate.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: National Library of Medicine
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Project partially funded by NLM

From Rural to Urban: Community Health Workers Promoting Healthy Communities

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA