Georgia: HIV Groups Changing Outreach Efforts
October 6, 2005
Several metro Atlanta AIDS groups are using various strategies that target minorities, youth and drug users.
AIDGwinnett has partnered with the North Georgia AIDS Alliance to specifically target migrant workers. The effort is a component of AIDGwinnett's plan to reach out to people of color in metro Atlanta as part of CDC's 2003 "Advancing HIV Prevention" initiative. According to CDC, because Latinos get tested later for HIV than blacks or whites, they are more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS or to develop AIDS within a year of first positive testing.
A Spanish-language radio spot airs in Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale counties and Gainesville, where Latinos make up more than 33 percent of the city's population. The slogan, "Mas vale saber," "It's better to know," encourages HIV testing.
AIDGwinnett mounted an informational campaign to encourage testing among Latino migrant workers in rural Rockdale County on National HIV Testing Day, June 27. Volunteers found more than 100 people lined up for free testing on the day it was offered. AIDGwinnett volunteers regularly distribute bi-lingual educational materials at gay bars, sex shops and gay male sex clubs.
AID Atlanta, with more than a 70 percent gay male client base, spends about $1 million a year on HIV prevention outreach, said development director Steve Balfour. The organization has a Latino support group for gay men and works with Univision, an AIDS Walk sponsor, to broadcast public-service announcements.
AID Atlanta advertises in the gay publication David Magazine, urging gay men who have used crystal meth to get a free HIV test and visit the Web site www.lifeormeth.com. An anonymous donor pays for the ads.
AIDS Survival Project sponsors "Positively No Speeding," a crystal meth-users' support group for gay men, and other groups for HIV-positive men. Atlanta's Harm Reduction Center encourages drug users, including meth users, to use clean needles.
Southern Voice (Atlanta)
09.30.2005; Dyana Bagby