Posted by emolina, Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:00 AM
What an honor to say I am now the Coordinator of BRIDGEMEN at STOP AIDS Project! I have met some incredible men since I joined BRIDGEMEN when we launched last year. Some of you are writers, fathers, activists, husbands, teachers, mentors, or most eligible bachelors (Holla!). All of you, however, want to make San Francisco a safe, happy place for everyone and I will support you 100% in your efforts! When I moved here from Portland, Oregon, I wanted to take my experiences in community service and bridge the many communities amongst which we are fortunate to live as San Franciscans!
In Portland, I helped HIV positive immigrants learn English; advocated for sexual assault survivors through teaching youth about domestic and emotional violence; and helped to coordinate a literacy program for at-risk youth. In San Francisco, I have been an HIV test counselor at Magnet; an outreach volunteer for STOP AIDS Project; and a crisis line counselor for the Night Ministry and the Institute on Aging, all of which serve many at-risk clients, living with HIV and otherwise. These agencies have inspired me to serve BRIDGEMEN as well as they serve our communities. As I see it, San Francisco has just begun to experience the myriad of talents BRIDGEMEN have to offer. Now, let’s keep doing good and getting dirty!
Posted by , Tuesday, October 4, 2011 12:21 PM
Big changes have come to Positive Force. We have introduced new programs and revamped old ones to better serve you. Here's what we'll be offering going forward:
1 on 1: Our peer-based counseling program is here to help you find the path to better health that’s right for you. If you’ve got questions about HIV treatment and care or need some help figuring out the pieces to a more stable, healthy life, this is a great place to go. We don’t judge, so come as you are.
PLUS: Combining education and support, it’s a weekend intensive for guys new to dealing with HIV, whether you’re newly diagnosed or ready to tackle HIV in a new way.
The Doctor Is In: Held twice-monthly, this is our physician-led discussion where you can share your challenges – and successes – living with HIV, get some shared wisdom from your peers, and ask for practical guidance from an HIV Specialist, Dr. Joanna Eveland.
Urban Adventures: Our monthly social events are here to help you stay connected with the HIV positive community. Each month, we’ll go on a new outing, so keep an eye out for what’s coming up next.
Stay Current: Quarterly, we’ll bring you the latest treatment and care info – straight from the experts. The topic each time is different, so you’re bound to find value at each one.
Contact jjones [at] stopaids [dot] org (Justin) if you have any questions.
Posted by , Thursday, September 8, 2011 2:46 PM
I am thrilled to be joining the Positive Force team. My tenure at STOP AIDS Project began as an outreach volunteer seven years ago. Since becoming a staff member, I have been honored to serve in many capacities, including: mobile HIV testing, Intervention Coordinator for Bars and Clubs, and Leather Network Coordinator.
In addition, I have relished my involvement with some of our other spectacular programs, such as The Scene, Prime and Bridgemen. Working on HIV and sexual health issues is obviously one of my passions.
I have also volunteered as a phlebotomist and HIV test counselor for City Clinic, served as a Community Advisory Board member of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s TWEAKER en Español campaign and served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Hepatitis C.
Today, I look forward to working with the Positive Force community to provide the support you need to live a healthy and flourishing life with HIV. jvieto [at] stopaids [dot] org (Drop me a line and say hello !)
Posted by , Monday, August 8, 2011 10:19 AM
Starting in September, HIV Prevention services will be changing at many agencies throughout San Francisco. To understand what some Department of Public Health officials are calling a 'major paradigm shift,' a community meeting was organized by several community organizations.
STOP AIDS worked with other organizations to offer the opportunity for community members to hear the new vision directly from the Department of Public Health and to gather feedback about these impending changes. The meeting was held August 1st.
Over a hundred people attended, to listen, ask questions and share their opinions. One recurring theme was the lack of services for certain groups, including Asian and Pacific Islanders, transgender women of color, youth, Native Americans, and incarcerated individuals.
Another major theme was the changing of HIV prevention from a community-oriented model toward a medical model, with a strong emphasis on testing and treatment and less focus on behavioral and contextual factors that affect risk. Several speakers spoke emotionally about the care they recieved in San Francisco, through clinics like Ward 86, that helped them stay healthy over the years.
With new research showing increased effectiveness of treatment and PrEP, and the fear of HIV diminishing, how should HIV prevention be different today? Are we content to reduce the community viral load by making sure HIV+ people take their meds or is a healthy community about more than that – being able to communicate with our partners, not needing drugs to feel good about ourselves, having options other than bars for a night out? What do you think HIV prevention should look like in 2011?
Posted by , Thursday, July 21, 2011 4:40 PM
As you may have heard by now, I am leaving STOP AIDS Project. My partner has accepted a position with his employer in Seattle, and we'll be relocating to the Pacific Northwest in a few short weeks.
I've been involved with the agency in some form or another since 1995, so as you can imagine, I'm leaving with a mixed bag of emotions. These past two years and five months as the Positive Force Program Coordinator have been amazing, inspiring and fulfilling. It's been a pleasure working with each and every one of you. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to watch you grow, learn and create community. I'll miss you all, and am grateful to have been able to know you.
I wish you continued success, joy and good health, and encourage you all to continue to support each other, laugh often, and tend to the community you have created.
Warmest Wishes and Big Hugs,
Posted by , Friday, April 8, 2011 5:26 PM
In November, the iPrEx study released results showing a 44% reduction in HIV risk when HIV negative men took a low-level, daily dose of a specific HIV medication. This prevention method, known as PrEP, is getting a great deal of media attention.
STOP AIDS held a Town Hall meeting to discuss the iPrex study results with the community.Then we took to the streets to find out how gay, bi and trans men were reacting to the news, to see how many men were interested in taking PrEP, and how many were already taking it. Here’s what the 61 HIV negative men we interviewed told us:
Seven guys said that they had already used PrEP. When asked where they got it, they told us: four were in a clinical study; one got it from a doctor/nurse; and two declined to state.
Also of interest: While 15% of men at a lower risk for HIV said they were interested in PrEP, 61% of men with multiple unprotected sex partners said they were likely, or very likely, to use PrEP in the future.
What we make of this information
Conversations about PrEP throughout the country are centering around a number of questions. Most importantly, are people going to use it? The iPrex study results will mean little if people don't want to take the medication. Our small survey suggests that a relatively small percentage think they would use it in the future.
However, if the people who are most interested in using PrEP are also those most at risk for HIV, PrEP may yet find its place in ending this epidemic among gay, bi, and trans men in the US.
Stay tuned for more information on this and related topics…