Posted by Anonymous, Monday, August 8, 2011 10:19 AM | Comments (0)
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?