February 17, 2012
With its three unique HIV prevention programs targeting African Americans, the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force (PATF) has reached thousands of people and received national recognition for its work.
Four years ago, PATF collaborated with the Persad Center, a local AIDS service organization focused on the LGBT community; the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; and the Pitt Men's Study to create "M2M," a prevention program aimed at young gay black men. With input from the community, M2M teaches men how to protect themselves and others.
Since 2009, the "Girlfriends Project" at PATF has provided HIV risk-reduction services to more than 300 African-American women. Coordinator Lisa Dukes and Assistant Outreach Liaison Pamela Smith train peers to host informal, in-home health education parties that address topics like testing, domestic violence, counseling, referrals, and resources. The program was recently acknowledged at the US Conference on AIDS in Chicago.
"Girl Talk Project," a spinoff of the Girlfriends Project, was launched by PATF in spring 2011. Its goals are similar, but the main difference is that teens ages 13-18 host the parties and their parents or caregivers can attend; Girl Talk Coordinator Tiffani Thompson facilitates the conversations. The events feature guest speakers on a variety of topics, including personal perspectives on sexuality and sexual orientation and how to prevent HIV and other STDs.
For more information about PATF's programming, telephone 412-345-0596 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.