Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Toss Up Tuesday

African American HIV University

The African American HIV University (AAHU) was developed in 1999 as a structural intervention program intended to change cultural norms and perceptions in the Black community around access to and utilization of HIV prevention services and strengthen Black organization and individual capacity
to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their communities. Arkansas had five individuals to complete the courses and COP 24/7 congratulates Ms. Carleisha "Kai" Murray  and Mr. Lee Brown as the next set of Fellows who will acquire knowledge from the Science and Treatment College portion of the program. Each individuals stated that the opportunity to engage the extensive curriculum would serve as another tool in their abilities to gain better understanding about the medical aspects of HIV that would compliment their current knowledge base.

Murray currently works for Jefferson Comprehensive Health Care Systems in case management. Brown is the founder and CEO of LinQ for Life Corporation and works for UAMS and Chicot Memorial in Emergency Medical Sciences. Brown cited that he was drawn to the
course work as another added level to his degree in Emergency Medical Sciences. "I believe that access these graduate styled courses would be beneficial to my further studies around this health dilemma. Its vitally important that we have young gay Black men equipped with a firm science based acumen in order to deal with continuing infection rates of young gay Black men 13-24 in Arkansas."

LinQ for Life (www.linqofrlife.com ) was founded to serve as peer centered entity that would seek to highlight "links," to a better quality of life," said Brown. "Since our inception in November 2014, we've been aggressive about getting our "house in order," to be able to be prepared to be of service to the community. It's been tough but as they say, "no pain , no gain."
 Currently LinQ for Life's two programs, Arkansas RAPPS and Mobilizing Arkansas Brothers, are contractors of the Community Connectors Initiative which seeks to offer innovative approaches to linkage and retention in care.

Research shows that lack of scientific literacy, stigma within the population, conspiracy beliefs and misperceptions of the disease have presented considerable barriers to HIV prevention strategies among African Americans.

The Black AIDS Institute launched multiple programs to address these challenges including the Community Mobilization College, the Science and Treatment College, the Black Treatment Advocates Network and individual technical assistance. The Community Mobilization College (CMC) utilizes the Community Mobilization Model to detail the cultural barriers to and regional opportunities for combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities. The chief objective of CMC is to develop a cadre of Black social change community leaders with the knowledge and skills to mobilize key influential people, constituents and traditional Black institutions to end the AIDS epidemic in their communities.

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