News & Announcements

Spreading the Word about HIV Prevention for African-American Women

Posted: February 16, 2017

African-American women are more likely to be infected with HIV than other women, and many don't know it. So public health officials and advocates are trying to get the word out about PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. It's a daily medication that helps prevent HIV infection.

According to the CDC, African-American women make up 62 percent of women diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. White women account for 18 percent, with Latinas at 14 percent. McCray says the CDC is planning in the upcoming months to produce campaigns targeted at black women that educate them on their risk and how PrEP can be used as a preventive measure.

Women in the nation's capital face a higher risk because about 2 percent of residents are already infected with HIV, making exposure more likely. In addition, Blout says, social issues like incarceration and poverty tend to increase the risk of HIV within the black community. In addition, Blout also says there is a lack of empowerment among black women to ask their partners to either get tested or wear a condom. McCray agrees. "Many women do not know the status of their partners and they are weary of asking them to get tested," he says.

"A lot of the issue has to do with misinformation or simply not being informed at all," says Nancy Mahon, executive director of the MAC AIDS Fund, which is providing financial support for the effort. "When it comes to PrEP, many people still don't even know it exists, especially heterosexuals. Many black women we've spoken to felt puzzled about why we were addressing how this drug is available to them. A component of the issue is that the drug is hard to obtain without a doctor."

One of the challenges in getting women educated about PrEP is that primary care providers such as OB-GYNs often aren't aware of it. That problem is compounded with low-income patients who don't always get regular doctor visits and preventive care.


Call for Workshops for the 2017 National Council of La Raza Annual Conference

Posted: February 15, 2017

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference provides a forum for people in the business of social change to learn about ongoing and emerging issues in the Hispanic community, connect with key community leaders, and generate partnerships with Hispanic community-based organizations.

The 2017 NCLR Annual Conference call for workshop presentations is now open. Proposals are being accepted for workshop tracks in education, health, housing and community development, nonprofit management, STEM, and workforce development. The event will be held July 8—11, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The deadline to submit workshop proposals is March 17, 2017.

Read more about the call for workshops and submit your proposal online.

Study Calls for Giving Youth a Voice in Juvenile Justice Reform

Posted: February 14, 2017

Juvenile justice reform efforts should more directly engage youth who have had first-hand experience of the juvenile justice system and whose experience could help shape more effective prevention and diversion programs, a report from the Pittsburgh Foundation argues.

Based on discussion groups conducted with more than fifty youth about their experiences with school suspensions and the juvenile justice system in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the report, A Qualitative Study of Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: A 100 Percent Pittsburgh Pilot Project (pdf), highlights the importance of paying attention to the actual experiences of youth and the factors that led to their involvement with the system. The latter include racial and gender disparities in how youth are treated by the juvenile justice system; the prevalence of physical and sexual abuse in their homes, communities, and schools; disciplinary practices that criminalize common youth behaviors and label them as "delinquents"; lack of access to supportive adults and mental health services; structural racism that promotes negative self-images among youth of color; and policies and practices that often punish youth for circumstances beyond their control.

In addition to ensuring that youth have a seat at the table along with human services staff, law-enforcement authorities, and school officials, the study calls for greater focus on addressing disproportionate involvement with the juvenile justice system among youth of color, especially girls; supporting efforts aimed at reforming school culture, curricula, and disciplinary policies, including restorative justice programs; supporting prevention and diversion initiatives; and increasing access to caring adults and mental health services. The report also recommends engaging youth as advocates and agents of change among their peers; supporting reform of court-related fees and restitution systems; and funding interdisciplinary training opportunities.

Read more on Read the full report (pdf).

Healthy People 2020 Midcourse Review

Posted: February 13, 2017

Healthy People 2020 is the nation’s health promotion and disease prevention initiative, with overarching goals and specific objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 objectives cover 42 topic areas and serve as a national benchmark for improving the Nation's health.

The Healthy People 2020 Midcourse Review provides a snapshot of objective progress toward meeting targets halfway through the 10-year initiative, providing a roadmap for the second half of the decade. This 820-page report provides detailed progress and health disparities data, as available, for over 1,200 objectives. 

The Healthy People 2020 Midcourse Review Infographics are interactive infographics that show progress toward Healthy People objectives, where we’ve met our targets and where we still have work to do to meet our targets by the end of the decade.

Read more and access the full report on Visit the Healthy People 2020 website.

How Recruiting Men as Ambassadors Can Combat Stigma about Mental Health in the Asian Community

Posted: February 10, 2017

A national research project has recruited more than 500 Toronto men of Asian descent to help reduce the stigma of mental illness in the Asian community. The three-year project, Strength in Unity, has trained the men to act as community ambassadors to talk about mental health and speak out against stigma. Josephine Wong, an associate profession at Ryerson University's school of nursing and a co-principal investigator of the project, said the project is helping to dispel the myths around mental illness. 

"The response has actually been pretty amazing," Wong told Metro Morning on Monday. "In the past, there has been a lot of research focused on immigrant women's mental health and depression, but we actually didn't understand what is faced by men," she said. "Through this study, we actually understand what are the challenges faced by Asian men of different ages."

Nearly half of the men involved in the project have lived with or been affected by mental illness. The men range in age from 17 to 85. In some cases, they have formed their own men's groups on the subject. The men undergo two types of training before becoming ambassadors. The first, acceptance and commitment, involves discussing stereotypes, recognizing values and expressing compassion. The second, contact-based empowerment, involves acquiring skills in health promotion, meeting caregivers and people with mental illness, and speaking out on the issue.

The idea is to educate the person, then the community. Through the training, the men are encouraged to move beyond traditional roles and to take a more active role in taking care of their own family members.


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