Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Staying in the ZONE

Zone101: Who's In and Who's Out?

This week at COP 24/7, we are going into more zones of the LGBTQ construct to highlight more around the next new "buzz" in addressing issues in the gay community. This platform has previously posted about the business scale up of "all things gay" including notable market analysis, "white
paper's," quality indexes, capacity and empowerment initiatives and all manner of pipelines being constructed to "connect" the gay community to the next best thing.
Within all this growth, COP 24/7 continues to be puzzled as to how all this effort has trickled down to Arkansas. Although we are now  into the first year of HRC's Project One America, as well as, an assortment of LGBT focused health pursuits, there still appear to be gaps and holes that are either not being addressed or simply given lip service to.
The following article from the Black AIDS Institute cites what its has discovered about nonmedical workforce knowledge of HIV on a national scope which it describes as "frightening." Unfortunately COP 24/7 takes the position that its extremely scary here in Arkansas in case you didn't know. Even though Arkansas was not specifically graded, grades given to many southern states were disappointing. Georgia- "F," Flordia- "D" and Louisiana- "D," Alabama- "D," and North Carolina- "F." 
Just to be clear, these grades are based on "non medical" working at health departments, community based organizations and AIDS service organizations. This report accentuates COP 24/7 point that Arkansas can not be in the "end game of AIDS," if we have a lack of competent and immersed professionals, activist, advocates, consumers and allies involved with understanding that this health dilemma is not over.   As this may be disturbing, we have to believe that there's got to be eventually some good news to come. When we find, we'll be the first to holla...

When We Know Better, We Do Better

"So many loved friends are dead because of AIDS.
My mind just runs over the list which seems to be unending."
—Maya Angelou
We have the tools to end the epidemic in America. The scientific evidence is now clear. Or is it?
This study by the Black AIDS Institute in partnership with Janssen Therapeutics, the Latino Commission on AIDS, the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, Johns Hopkins University, and the CDC suggests there may be a missing link.

Nearly two decades after Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) emerged and two years after the development of Treatment as Prevention and FDA approval of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), prevention efforts in the United States remain stalled. There remain around 50,000 new infections a year, nearly half of them Black and almost two-thirds of them, gay and bisexual men. In addition, less than 30% of the estimated 1.5 million Americans living with HIV are virally suppressed.

From 2012 thru 2014, the Institute and its partners conducted the first national assessment of the treatment and science knowledge of the nonmedical HIV/AIDS workforce. The "U.S. HIV Workforce Knowledge Survey" included over 3600 participants from 48 states, Washington D.C., and U.S. territories. The study revealed that the HIV science and treatment literacy of the HIV/AIDS workforce is frighteningly low.

"All the biomedical and scientific breakthroughs in the world aren't worth anything, if people working in the HIV field don't understand them, believe in them, and know how to use them," says Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. "This study shows that we are leaving our most valuable resource behind. We have a large infrastructure of passionate, committed and capable people working in AIDS service organizations, community-based organizations, clinical settings and health departments ready to get the job done. But, they can't do it unless they have the familiarity, knowledge and skills needed to use these new tools."

The late Dr. Maya Angelou said, "When we know better, we do better." The report looks at what the HIV/AIDS workforce needs to know to do better and makes bold recommendations on how to address the problem. You can discover the report at www.blackaids.org

No comments: