Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Rushes Part Two

Waiting to Launch: HIV/AIDS Message still in a Bottle

As we move rapidly into the second quarter of 2012 after taking a brief trip down our digital memory lane last week, COP 24/7 realized that there's lots of stuff still left on the table and not to mention the cutting room floor. Case in point is the slowly and ever impending HIV/AIDS education campaign from the Hep C HIV/AIDS Section of the Arkansas Department of Health. In case you've lost concern or count of the postings that this forum has composed, let us catch you up, if we can. Once upon a time in 2011 there were plans to create and launch a well crafted HIV/AIDS campaign that was set to step off by Worlds AIDS Day. However, mysterious set backs and other circumstances delayed that effort supposedly until an undefined 2012 date. After a few meetings and other musing concerning the project, it seemed that the "HIV Campaign X" might would raise it's head around Black HIV Awareness Day in February 2012. Yet this target came and went with only the reveal of some of the basics of the $150,000.00 mash up produced by Advantage Communications of Little Rock which also included some "bizzaro" commission in their contract to produce "AIDS Testing Events." This side show to this entire scenario has left COP 24/7 breathless to dumbfounded to the logic involved with this element. Can anyone explain to me as to the rationale of an advertising agencies ability to produce a "testing event," that has never done so nor has the damn cultural competency to do so.  Talk about usurping "best practices!"  In all fairness, the agency could have "sub-contracted" to an qualified event producer to undertake the task, but such a person or entity would have to have some working knowledge of expectations, responsibilities and possible snafus of planning such a thing. Especially if there are to be viable outcomes that don't cause the event to viewed as a unorganized and poorly executed. Most folks have come to learn that I have a distinct "pet peeve" for events that don't follow with the"Five P's." Here's a refresher: " Prior, Preparation, Prevents, Piss, Poor, Performances. Enough said.   Furthermore what I've surmised so far is that the "testing event caveat" in this contract has been overtly problematic to dastardly dismal in approach and outcomes. Has it come down to individuals being enticed with "cheeseburgers" as a means to be tested. Don't zoo animals get treated better? How much longer are "people" going to be treated as a "faceless number on a PEMPS form."  No cultivation or follow up interaction that could result in future engagement or outreach.  Meanwhile as I try to process that strangeness, the only thing we've learned of this campaign so far is it's entitled "Know Now." As you can view in the image above, its featured in a red and black box configuration citing the tag line, "Be Sure. Get Tested for HIV & STD. Despite details that I would prefer such as where folks will see it, when will it be set free and how long it will run, from the onset all of this sounded promising. But as of this date, Section Chief T. Long reported that there had been additional comments or internal observations that has caused the long awaited project not to take flight. So just what could it the delay be at this time? As usual there appears to be no bonafide bullet points or detailed narrative to share the problems. Once again we must ask, "what's the plan stan?" "Why is ADH being so coy this ploy?"  If COP 24/7 was spending such bucks, I'd think that I would be blowing smoke up some one's stove pipe if my time line had been thwarted causing me to look ineffective and incapable of executing my signature project. There's no way COP 24/7 would operate in this manner and if I've got to be an ass to get things done, then so be it. It's done everyday and then some....

Young Black Gay Leaders Initiative (YBGLI) Webinar Participants

In February 2012, the OC met with Vision Que!, Inc, a private consulting firm in Washington, D.C. to discuss our vision, goals and objectives for the upcoming years. The meeting with Vision Que!, Inc as well as the webinar itself were dynamic and left the OC with a number of action items to accomplish. The YBGLI OC is responsible for leading the national initiative, informing research, policy, mobilization, and leadership, and capacity building development. Currently, there are five members of the YBGLI OC but we would like to expand to nine members. For those interested in the YBGLI OC, please fill out the application and return to by April 30, 2012.

The YBGLI OC will accomplish its work through a subcommittee process. These sub-committees are designed to assist the OC in accomplishing the vision and mission of the YBGLI. The subcommittees will be chaired by YBGLI OC members. The sub-committees are:

§ Research

§ Policy

§ Mobilization

§ Leadership and Capacity Building

A separate process will take place in May when YBGLI members may express interest in serving on sub-committees.


Moving forward, the OC has a number of activities planned. The next activity is our National Research Webinar scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM (EST). The webinar will highlight current and future biomedical HIV prevention research initiatives affecting young Black MSM (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and Microbicides). Speakers will also discuss new community engagement strategies designed to increase the number of young Black MSM involved in research initiatives. One of the issues raised during the webinar, was that more community education on biomedical and behavioral research was needed. CLICK HERE to register for this webinar.

CLICK HERE to view the report developed from your important, participation during the October 14, 2011 webinar focused on the Mobilization Young Black gay Leadership in response to the HIV epidemic.

Register for the webinar! Health Care Reform in Your State: Making it Work for People with HIV
Health care reform will revolutionize access to health care for people with HIV. But to reach its full potential, HIV advocates need a seat at a table, and nowhere is that more important than in the states.
Click here to register for the webinar.
States will have to make hundreds of decisions to make health care reform a reality. What are the most important decisions you should pay attention to as an HIV advocate? What are some of the lessons learned from states that are already implementing health care reform?
Click here to register for the webinar, which will take place Thursday, April 26 at 11:30 a.m. PT, 12:30 p.m. MT, 1:30 p.m. CT, 2:30 p.m. ET.
This webinar is one in a series of monthly webinars focused on maximizing health care reform for people with HIV. Check out the recording and the materials from the first one, an overview of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for people with HIV, here. Learn more at and sign up for email updates.
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