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 Best Practices

 
Name: - Robert Pavlov
Company: - Broward County Health Department
Address: - 780 SW 24th St.
City/Town: - Ft Lauderdale
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33315
County: - Broward
Email Address: -
ROBERT_PAVLOV@DOH.STATE.FL.US
Phone Number: - 954-467-4700-#5816

STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention Program: (Multiple programs within this team)

The East Side Men's Clinic (as one example)—1. Testing & counseling 2. Information table with condoms to demonstrate proper use 3. STD Flip book to educate on all STD's (--for the past month I have been working with the Hepatitis Department to further increase education. Most recently, I started working the HIV Team--more information will be provided along with HIV testing. GREAT!

This project is implemented as "Special Topics", which are one month at a time. There is a chance that working with HIV will remain more often.

The project is applicable to ages 21 and older.

1-greater numbers for testing 2-decrease wait time 3- Overall patient satisfaction increases when Broward County Health Department works together for the good of its entire people.

Collaborations include all BCHD Staff.

There were no additional costs.

This is a "WIN-WIN" project; higher numbers for CDC; Shorter waiting times; Happier clients.

The only challenges were just starting up each time with a new department.

PLAN WELL in Advance!!!!

 

Name: - Vanessa Mills, MPH, BSN, LPN
Company: - Empower U Inc
Address: - 8309 NW 22 Avenue
City/Town: - Miami
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33147
County: - Dade
Email Address: -
vmills@empower-u-miami.org
Phone Number: - 786-318-2337

HIV Testing among YMSM and their sex partners regardless of age, race, or gender at Venue Based Events

We began this project with three things in mind:

1. Increase the number of YMSM who know their HIV Status 2. Increase the number of HIV YMSM who are linked to HIV primary Medical Care 3. Decrease HIV Health disparities among YMSM though early diagnosis and linkage to care.

This strategy can be implemented during any MSM Venue Based Event e.g., ball, pageants, pride events, etc.

This strategy is applicable to YMSM between the ages of 16 to 29 and there sex partners regardless of race, age, or gender.

We aimed to engage YMSM and their partners using mobile HIV testing units for HIV rapid testing at venue based event. Preplanning includes: 1) Staffing Plan ( HIV testing Units) 2) Staffing Plan ( Outreach and Recruitment) 3) Scheduling the hours of operation 4) Securing parking for units and staff 3) Working with the promoter 3) Securing Supplies 4) Securing incentivesCollaborations include the event promoter (gained access to the population), the local health department (provided in-kind staff support, incentives), Florida Department of Health (incentives, labs etc) and CDC.

Incentives are the key to attracting YMSM in a "social" setting, but are costly. Also, staffing to reach the target population because staff must be available over long hours.

In 2010, Empower U tested 257 YMSM, identified 17 newly diagnosed YMSM and 5 previously tested positive YMSM and then followed-up to ensure linkage to care. In 2011 at YMSM venue based events, Empower U tested 126 YMSM and identified 7 newly diagnosed.

Challenges that we faced were 1) Providing outreach to recruit individuals for testing. 2) Resources such as incentives and staffing such events are costly. 3) Events such as this require multiple mobile unit availability. 4) Follow-up requires a dedicated staff person to ensure linkage to care. 5) Non-partners e.g., WSW (women who have sex with women) are present at these event, and those reporting heterosexual only risk factors also request service.

The lessons learned between 2010 and 2011 are 1) Must have sufficient staff to provide service. 2) Must do intense outreach and recruitment. 3) Must have appropriate incentives to attract YMSM.

 

Name: - Mario Caicedo
Company: - FUSION
Address: - 2304 NE 7th Avenue
City/Town: - Wilton Manors
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33305
County: - Broward
Email Address: -
fusionwiltonmanors@yahoo.com
Phone Number: - 954.630.1655

FUSION

The purpose of Fusion is to create a drop-in center where MSM of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and other subcultures can interact in a variety of levels of programming 1) Informal participation in social events where the space provides an alternatives to bars or places where the population finds they put themselves at-risk, 2) Formal groups that meet regularly and are sometimes open or closed for periods of time where specific outcomes are being addressed through therapeutic intervention, the quilt, Bolt, and 3) the highest level of participation where participants take on leadership roles in making decisions about the direction of the center and take on responsibilities in the running of the center in organizing groups, recruitment, condom distribution, engaging new members, etc.

This project has been implemented over the last 3 years.

The project is applicable to ages 18 and older.

Leadership – This is based on community assessment, like in the Mpowerment project, but applied to all ages. This has not been scientifically tested, but the on-going assessment has allowed for leaders to emerge in the community. Often times this has assisted in the development of new leaders and not those already identified as leaders. These new leadership have taken on responsibilities, worked to develop each other, taken on assignments, and joined activist committees locally and statewide to address the issue of HIV prevention, treatment and care. Include some more recent stories

BOLT – Groups for HIV positive men were either time limited or on-going support groups. Community members identified the need to have a social space where disclosure was not the center of organization and where possible collaboration with negative men could take place. BOLT was creating to be a social group for positive and negative men. Issues discussed focus on common problems that MSM face in regards to health: using condoms, testing for STIs, dating issues—disclosure is optional and made it more comfortable for men who looking at how they wanted to disclose their HIV status. The groups allowed for men to come together and look for ways to work together and mobilize the community rather than have a division of positive men and negative men where the two never participate in the same intervention.

The collaborations were more significant with the sports teams, transgender community, community fundraisers and big social events such as the holiday event with MDE.

In terms of costs and resources, the community has filled this need through mobilizing them. However, the basic infrastructure is necessary like the center, computers, entrance fees, staff, etc.

There has been no formal evaluation other than surveys to measure client satisfaction. This assisted in looking at patterns and trends in attendance and internal collaboration. One unexpected outcome is that participants used the center in different ways. Some came for the one group that interested them. Others frequented a number of groups. Some were links to other agencies. Others played pseudo-staff roles through their leadership. The surveys also assisted in modifying groups. The leadership group evaluates program success and looks at outcomes at weekly meetings. For example, if an initiative was not playing a positive role then it was removed from the schedule or modified. Different initiatives had varied levels of success like reaching out to sports teams or church groups. It would be helpful to have more staff to assure these tasks are carried out.

We encountered challenges during our church initiative. Participants struggled with how Fusion might relate to the religious organizations. Some religious organizations did not see the connection between health and religion. However, some very positive relationships developed where religious groups Christian, Buddhist and others volunteered to carry out secular activities. Others opened the door for outreach efforts.

Carrying out a thorough and on on-going community assessment and finding ways to allow “leaders’ to incorporate into the program on their own terms is key. Focus on people’s strengths.

 

Name: - Deveda Bellamy
Company: - Leon County Health Department
Address: - 872 W. Orange Avenue
City/Town: - Tallahassee
State: - FL
ZIP: - 32310
County: - Leon
Email Address: -
deveda_bellamy@doh.state.fl.us
Phone Number: - (850) 606-8268

1. Hosted UJIMA Collective (7-10) 2. PINK TIE AFFAIR w/Academia Society (10-10)

Both of these events were the first events geared to educate and mobilize Black MSM through healthy sustainable dialogue. Both assisted in promoting awareness and prevention in the MSM & LGBT communities.

UJIMA is a one day collective 9-4pm, coordinated with the Statewide Black MSM Coordinator. The PINK TIE affair is 3-4 hours at a designated lounge.

These activities are applicable to ages 17 years of age and older.

For UJIMA, the Statewide MSM Coordinator partners with the Minority AIDS Coalition through the county health department and community based organizations (CBO) to host this collective in their area, puts together a team of MSM to facilitate dialogue on acceptance, stigma, relationships and community mobilization for more respect and acceptance. A location is chosen away from the Department of Health and usually lunch is provided through non-DOH partnerships. Interactive group discussions occur on various topics, issues and experiences in a respectful setting. All materials are provided by Statewide MSM Coordinator. Outside rentals through CBO partnerships can range from $00-$200.00.

The PINK TIE Affair is coordinated through local college MSM Group. Funds must be generated to provide advertisement/promotions, speakers, and location charges.

Collaborations included the Academic Society, The Learning Tree (LGBT) of Tallahassee, Faith Partners, colleagues, the DOH network and other local CBOs.

Our evaluations found our community is still very much reserved with acknowledgement and acceptance and still experiences a great deal of denial. Many felt that the dialogue was extremely good and that much more is needed to impact behavioral change and social acceptance with respect. It allowed individuals to view different perspectives and to better understand what approaches we must begin to take to help others to hear, understand and become involved. Very little funding is available to do much outreach and create sustainable efforts and dialogue.

Challenges included locating a non-DOH site at minimal cost and locating a partner to sponsor lunch. It was overcome through perseverance and constant dialogue with community partners.

Build, Build, and Build your relationships with community partners. Listen well and use what you can from what is being offered or shared. We cannot move any group until we are able to help communities understand the need for the movement and how it directly affects or impacts their lives or communities.

 

Name: - Moriah Hill
Company: - Polk County Health Department
Address: - 1255 Brice Blvd
City/Town: - Bartow
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33830
County: - Polk
Email Address: -
moriah_hill@doh.state.fl.us
Phone Number: - 863-519-7900 ext. 11196

HOTT Parties (Helping Others To Test). Social Networking Strategies (SNS) structure.

HOTT Parties provide HIV/STD/HEP education and testing to individuals, who normally would not come to the Health Department, to be tested in the comfort of a friend's or partner's home.

This activity generally takes 2 to 4 hours per party. This depends on the amount of participants attending the session.

HOTT Parties are applicable to ages 18 years and older.

The health department has enlisted gay volunteers who assist in promoting the HOTT Parties to their friends, family, and acquaintances. Then the people who have attended the original HOTT Party will put on a party of their own. Of course, the party is scheduled for the evening hours and health department employees have to be available to educate and test.

Grace Restoration Church has teamed up with the health department to help promote the HOTT Parties. Food needs to be provided as an incentive for the parties. Grace Restoration has assisted with some of the cost.

The HOTT Parties are new to this area. We have not collected written evaluation data. We verbally ask the participants how they feel and their opinions.

The HIV CTL Unit works flex hours to accommodate the parties. The employees have to meet the parties scheduled times. People who attend the parties know why they are coming to the party; however, the 'reality' of why they are there sets in during the party and some participants back out from getting tested.

We are leaning towards training the volunteers to educate to help free up the employees time to test.

 

Name: - William Harper
Company: - AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, Inc. (ASAP)
Address: - 3050 1st Ave South
City/Town: - St. Petersburg
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33712
County: - Pinellas
Email Address: -
williamharper@asapservices.org
Phone Number: - 727-328-5525

Suncoast Project at The Flamingo Resort - a program of ASAP (AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, Inc.)

Provide CTR (Counseling, Testing and Referral) to the MSM community. *Provide services in a safe, nonjudgmental and convenient location *Reach targeted population (MSM) in a place where they are gathering and socializing *Comfortable space for community MSM's to stop by for testing, condoms, etc. *Promote HIV awareness and promote safer-sex practices *Provide safe sex kits in each hotel room, *Invite guests to stop by the ASAP office (on the Resort property) to get tested and/or ask for information *Provide condoms, lube, magazines and educational materials to anyone who stops by.

ASAP has been providing this service since 2002. We started at the Suncoast Resort and after it closed we eventually moved to the Flamingo Resort.

This project targets ages 18 and older.

Because of the demonstrated need in the MSM community for testing and prevention education, ASAP developed a model which included opening an office in a large gay resort with a couple of paid staff and volunteers. We engaged a private funder to get the Suncoast Project started in the Suncoast Resort. He funded the project at $50,000.00 per year for several years. ASAP applied for a CDC grant and was awarded and funded for 6 years, during which time the Suncoast Resort closed and we were eventually able to open in the Flamingo Resort. After the CDC funding expired, ASAP remained focused on our mission and vision and decided we'd keep the project open while looking for other revenue options. We received funds from the Florida Department of Health for the Expanded Testing Initiative and that, along with donations and fundraising and lots of volunteer support have kept us going. We continue to test approximately 1200 to 1500 MSM's per year through the Flamingo office and on the ASAP mobile unit and provide most of the services we offered when we were fully funded by the CDC.

The cost implications include: rent, telephones, security, cable, internet, salaries (2 FTE's, at present), the mobile unit, etc. Our most reliable resources are the Pinellas Co. and State Health Departments. We receive test kits and condoms from them. We are very privileged to have the support and guidance of Lisa Cohen and Rick Mendiola from the Pinellas County Health Department. We also consider our volunteers a resource beyond measure - they answer phones, help with data entry, manage the front desk and greet guests. Several of our volunteers have been trained to provide rapid HIV testing, as well. It is a costly endeavor but we are dedicated to providing these services to the MSM community. As an aside, we also have a large mobile unit that we use at Health Fairs, community outreach sites, the Sawmill Campground (a large gay campground in Pasco Co.), and at gay bars in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Initially our partners were our parent organization, Suncoast Hospice and a private funder. We eventually replaced the private funding with CDC grant funds and donations. At this point, we are partnering with the Pinellas County Health Department for ETI funding, but let it be clear that PCHD has been a supportive partner since the inception of this project. We also depend heavily on community donations, fundraising efforts and volunteers.

Resources: Funding from Health Dept ETI. Fundraising, Donations, Volunteers. Costs: Office operation (rent, etc.), Staff positions (2 FTE), Volunteer support (mileage reimbursement), Mobile Unit operations, Condoms/lube, etc.

The Project tests approximately 1200 to 1500 people per year through the office and mobile unit. We have not met our goals for the ETI in regard to numbers tested but we continually show a high positivity rate (between 2 to 3%) - clearly indicating we are touching the demographic we need to provide services to. Our satisfaction surveys consistently rate around 97% fully satisfied with our services at the Resort office. The MSM community often comments that they are pleased that ASAP is at the Flamingo Resort - showing support and commitment and provision of resources. This is translated through a very strong support from the MSM community in all of ASAP's fundraising efforts (St. Pete AIDS Walk, Dining Out for Life, Santa Speedo Run and Staying Alive - Red Ribbon Dance) and through local clubs, organizations, etc. doing special projects and fundraisers for ASAP.

Our initial challenges included: there was no other project in the state of Florida from which we could garner information from (for that matter, we pretty much couldn't find any look-alike project in the country in 2002) and funding. ASAP, local partners and volunteers had to "imagine" their way through what was needed and how we could meet the needs. Needless to say, funding was a challenge prior to and post CDC funding. We have overcome post CDC funding by reducing FTE's, negotiating a reduced rent with the Resort - pointing out that our presence showed the Resort's commitment to the MSM community, increasing Volunteer support, cutting back on the amount of mobile unit outings and locations served and ramping up fundraising efforts. We have successfully overcome about $125,000 of revenue deficit in this project by implementing the above mentioned strategies. Of course, we are continually looking for new/additional funding opportunities!

Our lessons learned: 1. Do the right thing for your community and your community will do the right thing for you. 2. Never assume you'll be funded/renewed - in other words, plan ahead for sustainability. 3. MSM really enjoy the opportunity to come to a location that they feel is non-judgmental, casual and supportive. Many men don't want to come to the traditional AIDS Service Organization location for testing because of perceived (or real) stigma from being seen by others. Do anything differently? Probably not. We are proud of our track record and the services we continue to provide through this project - fully funded or not.

Recommendations - Prepare a thorough budget and, yes, if it can happen and cost money it WILL happen and cost money. Be fiscally prepared. Consider your target population and find out what they want and need - not what fits your agenda - and plan accordingly. Be flexible and willing to change directions at the drop of a hat. If you're going to be in a resort setting, prepare not just for the day to day operations but for the unexpected - alcohol "impaired" guests coming into the office, security, the temptation to socialize too much where you work, the "other" temptations - are you and your volunteers properly trained in boundary setting, diversity and cultural sensitivity? Last - avoid the temptation to "be all things to all people" - train to know your community resources and learn to effectively refer your clients to those resources. Then you can focus on what you do (and do it well) and let other professionals do what they do well, for your clients.

 

Name: - Pamela Williams
Company: - BASIC NWFL, Inc.
Address: - 432 Magnolia Ave
City/Town: - Panama City
State: - FL
ZIP: - 32401
County: - BAY
Email Address: -
pamela.williams@basicnwfl.com
Phone Number: - 850-785-1088

RESPECT/VOICES

We began this program because we were interested in getting more MSM tested for HIV and finding out what behaviors are putting them at risk for contracting the virus. The purpose is to help the client clearly identify what social behaviors could be putting him at risk and helping them discover better practices that will help reduce their risk of infection.

Implementation is about 60mins per client.

The program targets ages 18yrs old and older.

Going to area where they are comfortable meeting you is extremely important. Consistence has been the key.

We were showing up in the same area often and being approachable and friendly, as well as being relaxed and understanding. Many of them fear being judged and looked down upon, but when you approach them with no judgment and you listen to their story, they begin to relax and desire your services.

Collaborations include Bay County Health Department and Jackson county Health Department.

It is very important to be available to clients. Between your initial encounter and the day you give back results, the clients need to know you care and you are willing to follow up with them. This will result in referring other friends or family members to you.

 

Name: - Leah White
Company: - Volusia County Health Department
Address: - 1845 Holsonback Drive BIN#111
City/Town: - Daytona Beach
State: - FL
ZIP: - 32117
County: - Volusia
Email Address: -
Leah_White@doh.state.fl.us
Phone Number: - 386-274-0629

We began this project to provide testing to GLBT community and improve this community's familiarity and comfortableness with the health department.

Implemented over the course of one year - 4 testing events.

The project is applicable to ages 18 and older.

We planned 4 testing events at a local bar/hotel that is mostly GLBT. The events were planned for February (Valentines Day theme), June (National HIV Testing Day as well as the Hotel's Gay Pride events), September (Gay Men's National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day) and December (World AIDS Day) We had a lot of support from the owner of the hotel and for that reason were able to easily plan these testing events. The resources needed are testing supplies as well as testers. Additional incentives would be a good idea. Also, the owner of the Streamline hotel put an ad in the Pennysaver for 3 weeks leading up to the June testing event, which improved community awareness of the event.

Collaborations include The Streamline Hotel and other GLBT local community organizations to get the information out (Daytona Beach Guild, New Church Family, etc.) other HIV/AIDS organizations fordistribution of information.

Costs associated with this project include testing supplies and testers and an ad in the Pennysaver.

We have had more people tested at each event this year (14 in February and 19 in June). This improvement has come from increased advertizing and getting the information into the community earlier.

When we tested at Streamline in the past we had testing from 4-8pm. By 8pm we still had people who wanted to get tested. For this reason we changed the time to 5-9pm and this worked well. We also chose to offer the testing on Friday nights as recommended by the owner and other patrons. Another challenge was finding out who would be best to distribute information in the GLBT community. I have continued to work on addressing this challenge.

It is very important to get buy in from the right people (in our case, the owner of Streamline hotel and other community GLBT organizations). It is also important to go to where the people are and are comfortable. We were able to test many high-risk individuals that wouldn't normally take the time to go to the health department because they were more comfortable in the setting at the Streamline. Additionally it is best to get the advice of the people who know the setting (i.e. owner of the bar/hotel and patrons) in order to get the best outcome for a testing event. Finally, continuing to return to the hotel to provide testing has made us familiar and trustworthy which helps make people want to get tested.

 

Name: - Stephen Fallon
Company: - Latinos Salud
Address: - 2330 Wilton Drive
City/Town: - Wilton Manors
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33305
County: - USA
Email Address: -
sfallon@latinossalud.org
Phone Number: - 9547656239

SOMOS

We implemented this program to reduce the practice of unprotected anal sex amongst participants. SOMOS implements the Mpowerment intervention with 12 M groups, 48 small events, 2 large events, 48 core group meetings, and a publicity campaign annually.

The program has been implemented for roughly 2.5 years.

This program targets MSM ages 18 – 30.

In addition to following the core elements of the Mpowerment intervention, the SOMOS implementation specifically strives to -- Accept sex as part of our culture, but encourage safer choices. -- Lead by example: mutual respect, integrity in our commitments, and welcoming atmosphere at clubhouse. - Offer a supportive, safe space where clients can share personal experiences and engage in learning opportunities. The intervention requires multiple, simultaneous planning stages occur simultaneously, from the ongoing outreach efforts to the one-time M Groups.

The Florida Department of Health provides condoms and lube for clients, while SOMOS refers clients for STD testing. The Broward County School Board accepts clients for ESOL or GED classes, and SOMOS agrees to pay their small tuition fee in order to reduce barriers to prioritizing HIV prevention. AIDS Healthcare Foundation provides referrals to the SOMOS program, while SOMOS walks clients over to AHF for HIV testing. Hotspots and Genre Latino magazines provides frequent editorial commentaries and photo arrays, above the regular advertising that SOMOS places.

The Mpowerment "clubhouse" gets much more foot traffic now that the program has been located to a more prominent storefront in the heart of the gay community, along Wilton Drive. The cost of this space is, however, quite high ($40,000 per year plus utilities). Latinos Salud splits this rent with our CDC funded program. Meanwhile, the ancillary costs of props, costumes, supplies for themed outreach and for small or large events are substantial, but absolutely necessary.

The SOMOS staff, core group and clients have done a fantastic job to date. They have met or exceeded all objectives named above. More than that, they have triggered wider community discussion through their creative and highly visible approach to their projects. They have been spotlighted in both the mainstream press and the gay media numerous times.

Working with younger MSM is vitally important, as they are keenly interested in what they perceive their peers to believe or to do. The energy the YMSM bring to the program is inspirational. At the same time, younger clients can mean less predictable follow through on group tasks, and occasional emotional outbursts, and transience that leads to client turnover. We have a "Consent Form" which formalizes ground rules for mutual respect during events and activities. Signing this form helps focus clients on their rights and responsibilities, so that meetings stay respectful, fun and productive.

We have had a hand in implementing Mpowerment programs at many agencies, so we learned in advance to resist the temptation to "step in" and "fix" the program for the clients. Allowing the clients as much latitude as possible (within guidelines) creates more ownership of the program, and therefore its message. With tight budgets, we are assessing the allocation of our advertising dollars. Print media is expensive, but thus far placing sponsored ads on Facebook has not yielded more clients (maintaining the program's non-paid Facebook page has helped, however).

 

Name: - Dawn Averill
Company: - AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Address: - 4300 Bayou Blvd
Address 2: - Suite 37
City/Town: - Pensacola
State: - FL
ZIP: - 32503
County: - Escambia
Email Address: -
dawna@aidshealth.org
Phone Number: - 850-470-8071

We have utilized our mobile testing unit for rapid HIV testing at local gay bars on several occasions from 9pm-3am.

We decided to implement this project to offer education, prevention and testing to the gay community.


This project is applicable to ages 18 and older.

Red Ribbon Charitable Foundation provided funding for giveaways and snacks for those being tested.

We utilized our mobile testing unit and four staff members. Cost associated with giveaways was approximately $400.00, but was donated.

The support from the bars, as well as the enthusiasm of the patrons was amazing. We indentified positives and linked them into care.

There were no challenges.

 

Name: - Sherrie Serpas
Company: - Bay County Health Dept
Address: - 597 W 11th Street
City/Town: - Panama
State: - FL
ZIP: - 32401
County: - Bay
Email Address: -
sherrie_serpas@doh.state.fl.us
Phone Number: - 850 872-4720 x1183

STD and HIV Awareness

This project originally started during STD Awareness Month. We were working with our DIS Jennifer Cox and she arranged for us to go out to a club on Panama City, Beach. The owner gave us permission to do testing and education in the parking lot. Since that first time, we have been out there lots of times. We usually use Orasure to test with. They call us when they are having something special and ask us to come out and they also put out condoms and call us when they need more.


This project is on-going. We started out just for a month, but we try to go out when something special is going
on.

This project is applicable to ages 18 and older.

We usually drive a Ford Explorer marked with the Health Department's Logo, to test in. We stand in the parking lot and offer incentives for people to get tested. We try to give out information and talk to people. If people want us to, we can and will take their results back out to the club and post test the people that were tested.  People really like glow sticks, and key chains to name a few.

Collaborations are with our DIS, Jenn, and the Owner of the Club, the EIC and HAPC.

Our biggest resource is the manpower. We don't have enough people to sustain an ongoing project. Our DIS is not allowed to go out and do outreach more then 2 hours a month now, which leaves only me and Laura the HAPC.

We were very successful and tested many people. The "regulars" at the club are happy to see us when we come.  We did not have any positives out of that outreach, but hopefully people who would not get tested out there, did think about it and hopefully followed through and went to get tested. We still go out and do testing occasionally.

Challenges: Once people had too much to drink, you really did not want to test them. We had a window of about three hours that we could test and then we usually left by 12:00am or 1:00am. Another challenge we had was manpower; we just didn't have enough! We were going out to the club on Thursday night because that's when they had the dancers, and then we had to go to work on Friday.

One lesson we learned about going to the club is the window period. You cannot test a drunk person, so you have to catch them before midnight or so. Also, a lot of the population that goes there are from different counties and can be hard to post test. Since this club is at the beach, some of the people we test are from different states.

 

Name: - Eric Stockley
Company: - Charlotte CHD
Address: - 514 E. Grace Street
City/Town: - Punta Gorda
State: - FL
ZIP: - 33950
County: - Charlotte
Email Address: -
Eric_stockley@DOH.state.fl.us
Phone Number: - (941) 639-1181 Ext 2212

In 2009, we used "Men from the MINESHAFT" to reach MSM. In 2010, we used "The Vagina Monologues" to reach abused women.

These were implemented as one time events.

These projects were applicable to MSM and women older than 16, or with parental supervision if under 16 years of age.

2009 Men From The MINESHAFT: For this production Charlotte County Health Department (CCHD) partnered with Community AIDS Network of Sarasota and the "Suncoast AIDS Theater Project" of Charlotte County. The event was not widely publicized. Instead, we concentrated on MSM web sites and social networking. As a result we had a packed room consisting mainly of MSM. Before, during and after the event CAN staff offered free rapid HIV testing. Admission was free, but we did take canned donations for our local HIV food bank.

2010 The Vagina Monologues: CCHD paid for the copyright for our staff to perform the monologues. Awardwinning Irish playwright John Noel Kelly lives in Port Charlotte during the winters and kindly directed the play for us. We partnered with Edison College's nursing program, CARE rape crisis center, CHAN HIV food pantry and Community Aids Network (CAN) of Sarasota. Our target audience was women and 90% of the audience was women. CAN offered free rapid testing before during and after the event. Canned donations went to the HIV food pantry and raffles raised money for our local rape crisis center.

Collaborations included Suncoast AIDS Theater Project, who performed Men From The MINESHAFT. Also, Community AIDS Network of Sarasota performed HIV rapid testing and provided some financial support.  Edison State College’s nursing program provided student volunteers to hand out literature and condoms. CARE Rape Crisis Center provided guest speakers, while CHAPS HIV food pantry helped promote both events.

All printing costs (posters, flyers, programs etc) plus any copyright costs were covered by CCHD. CAN paid for transportation costs for Suncoast AIDS Theater Project and the cost of the rapid tests. Edison College students solicited donated pizza and soft drinks for the actors and volunteers at both events.

Charlotte County is a very conservative county when it comes to MSM and domestic violence. These plays broke down these barriers by drawing in large target audiences of MSM and women, many of which had suffered domestic violence and sexual abuse. Approximately 15-20 HIV tests were done at each event.

You just have to know your community and be sensitive and creative to reach your target audience so they feel comfortable attending the events. Know your community, identify your target audience and be creative.

 
 

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