193909 Making HIV Testing, Education, Prevention, and Care Accessible to the Special Needs Populations in Philadelphia Through Community Partnerships

Monday, November 9, 2009

Terri Clark, MPH, CHES , Prevention Services, ActionAIDS, Philadelphia, PA
Barbara L. Bungy, MPH, CHES , Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
According to the 2008 CDC surveillance data, over 56,000 people in the US will become infected with HIV/AIDS. In Philadelphia, there will be close to 1,500 new infections. 25% of people infected with HIV are unaware of their positive status and account for 54% - 70% of new infections. (2008 Report on HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention in Philadelphia).

A unique challenge for prevention services in Philadelphia is to meet the HIV prevention and testing needs of the unseen/underserved population. We had identified diverse, special needs populations through community collaborations and have initiated services on-site at these facilities.

Over and above providing prevention and testing services, is the opportunity to interact with community members, educating them about HIV, counteracting misinformation, ignorance, and stigma, and empowering the community to reduce and prevent HIV transmission and improve access to care.

The work with special populations resulted in an overall increase in desire for HIV/AIDS knowledge and testing. The consumers' contemplation of getting tested triggered questions, which increased their participation in HIV presentations. As demand increases, we find that we must partner with other AIDS Service Organizations to meet the HIV testing, prevention, and healthcare needs of our target populations.

Creating effective HIV education and prevention initiatives for special needs populations entails designing culturally competent services and making them available in a space deemed safe by the target population.

Concepts and principles from the Health Belief Model, Social Cognitive Theory, and Diffusion of Innovation Theory informed the design and implementation of prevention efforts.

Learning Objectives:
Define special populations. Describe multi-pronged approaches to providing prevention services to these special populations. Discuss strategies for community collaboration and implementation of prevention services.

Keywords: Special Populations, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Coordinate Prevention Services at ActionAIDS. Have designed, implemented and evaluated prevention services interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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