Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Post UP and OUT

Getting  To Zero: Is Arkansas Moving in the right Direction?

Getting to Zero has found it's way into the HIV/AIDS lexicon of verbiage that has continues to grow in prominence. As this health dilemma has ebbed and flowed over the last three decades into a what some called an "industrial disease complex," filled with systems, interventions, prevention
methodologies, data points and all manner of smart folks waxing on in educated jargon that at times can make your eyes rolled back into your head. In the attached video, we learn that San Francisco's latest trek to address new infections with its rapid response program designed to increase immediate linkage to care treatment options with sights on zero new infections in their city.

In the meantime, the struggles, barriers and challenges of dealing with up to 50,000 new infections  continues nationally and undoubtedly here in Arkansas where we have to face the fact that we are still grappling with the unmet needs of those not in care with estimates up to 4,000 persons. As a backdrop to this situation, their was robust discussion during last Friday's Arkansas HIV Planning Group meeting held in the Arkansas Department of Health auditorium. The core of the dialogue centered around the effectiveness of AHPG in its collaboration with ADH as well as tangible outcomes in communication, programming, funding and policy.

Mr. Lee Brown questioned the notification process concerning awardees seeking HIV Awareness funding. He noted that his proposal was never fully addressed as to its rejection or if there could have been alterations that would have been acceptable for funding. Program Manager, Courtney H. emphasized that there was no "numeration" attached to the proposal announcement but that she had not been given any "explanation" as to the rejection. Interim Section Chief Ibriham stated that she would seek why there was no written explanation forwarded and would hope to report back at the next session or otherwise.

As discussion continued, attendees fielded possible strategies and solutions to what was noted as poor perception vs. the reality of what has been accomplished in dealing with messaging around HIV. Danny Harris, ARCare Outreach Coordinator, shared that "among those who I see, it is believed that it's all about the "central" part of the state. They feel as if they are not connected because they don't have a sense of buy in." He continued, " I would be open to taking developed materials to the empowerment groups and share information about AHPG." In 2013 AHPG participated in a statewide effort to reach out to outlying communities which resulted in marginal attendance. The body voted to cancel subsequent site visits while assessing outreach best practices.

 Another strategy discussed was making the meetings more centered around "community" interest versus institutional updates and  also utilizing the Community Connectors initiative to serve as "micro groups" in their respective areas. The discussion concluded with insights as to changing the day part of meetings by scheduling sessions in the evenings or other non-traditional hours. The next meeting is scheduled for June 12, 2015.

Interested individuals, community based organizations, advocates, consumers and clinicians are invited to attend. Voting memberships are available but not required to attend. Check out their Facebook page at

COP 24/7 has been steadfast in our posting concerning latest breakthroughs and failures of our public health entity in addressing the situation. Watch this space for more news, links, videos and updates from around the state.


Don't forget that you can join the next wave of prevention and intervention
by showing your support for the organizations Prevention Campaign at

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