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Spring 2007

ACRIA Offers National Technical Assistance Trainings

ACRIA is now offering our acclaimed National Training & Technical Assistance (NTA) on a regional basis across the country. We will tailor a 2, 3, or 4-day intensive training curriculum to the specific needs of agencies serving people with HIV in your area. In addition, all participants will receive our 400-plus-page Training Manual and other educational materials, and we will provide ongoing health literacy and treatment education technical assistance.

Topics covered in the training can include:

  • HIV Transmission & Testing


  • Understanding the Immune System

  • HIV Overview

  • HIV Treatment Update

  • Resistance and Adherence

  • HIV Treatment Guidelines

  • Understanding Lab Results

  • Managing Drug Side Effects

  • Hepatitis C

  • Women's Issues and HIV

  • Clinical Trials

  • Getting the Most from Your Healthcare Provider

Our latest training, in South Florida in late 2006, showed the best results ever: pre-tests resulted in an average score of only 43%, while post-tests showed participants' average score had risen to 84%. As the chart below illustrates, the NTA's positive results are improving over time.

ACRIA Offers National Technical Assistance Trainings

For details, please call National Training & Technical Assistance Program Manager Lisa Frederick at (212) 924-3934, ext. 119, or email her at

Older Adults Program

ACRIA's commitment to expanding services for older adults with HIV has now taken a practical turn, thanks to a generous grant from the M-A-C AIDS Fund. We are happy to announce the formation of Project SEE -- Senior Education and Empowerment -- in partnership with the Council on Senior Centers Services (CSCS), which represents 265 New York City senior centers and other organizations that provide services to senior citizens.

The goals of Project SEE are to ease access to services and support at senior centers, decrease dependence upon AIDS service organizations for HIV-positive seniors, and provide accurate and up-to-date HIV education and prevention information. The core goal is to break down preconceptions, misconceptions, and stigma related to HIV among staff and clients. Project SEE is aimed at nothing short of changing the culture of New York City's senior centers with regard to HIV.

ACRIA's HIV Health Literacy Program (HHLP) will work with CSCS to bring our education services, including technical assistance and tailored publications, into the senior centers of New York City. HHLP's educators will provide intensive training on all aspects of HIV -- transmission, prevention, treatment, and care -- to service staff of selected senior centers in neighborhoods with high rates of infection. We will provide ongoing technical assistance to the centers and their staff as they integrate HIV into the services they provide and work with both HIV-positive and HIV-negative seniors.

The Update has reported earlier on our Research Department's groundbreaking Research on Older Adults with HIV (ROAH) study and the interest it has generated, resulting in our partnering with Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the New York City Council, and others to develop new programming for this growing population.

Project SEE is the first fruit of these efforts, and we are grateful to M-A-C AIDS and CSCS for helping us to make it happen.

RTC Partners

ACRIA's HIV Health Literacy Program (HHLP) is entering its second cycle as a Regional Training Center for the New York City region under a contract with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.

Under this initiative, HHLP educators train nonmedical HIV/AIDS service providers across the city to help them develop the knowledge and practical skills they need to help people with HIV. During the first cycle, from September through December 2006, HHLP provided training to 280 staff members of 55 agencies, from all five boroughs of New York City.

For this second cycle, we decided to take as many trainings as possible to the outer boroughs. We have been successful in this, thanks to the host agencies that have provided us with space to hold the trainings and the staff time to help us with outreach and organization in their neighborhoods.

Special thanks Linda Dianto and Lillian Agbeyegbe from St. Elizabeth Ann's Day Care and Staten Island Health Action, and also to Caroline Numa from FACES NY in Central Harlem; Sarah Frei and Christine Mastin from Jacobi Hospital, George Smith from Lincoln Hospital, Carrie Taft from United Bronx Parents, and Margaret Rivers from Beth Abraham Health Services for helping us bring trainings to the Bronx. In Brooklyn, we thank Audria Russell from Women in Need.

We are still looking for partners to help us bring our trainings to the agencies that need them. If you would like to become a host agency in New York City, please call Luis Scaccabarrozzi at (212) 924-3934, ext. 111.

ACRIA Researchers Present Findings

Members of ACRIA's Research Department continue to publicize the findings of its Research on Older Adults and HIV (ROAH), the first comprehensive study ever conducted of HIV-positive adults over the age of 50.

Stephen Karpiak, Ph.D., presented an overview of the study in a lecture at NDRI in February. He also presented at the Council on Senior Centers Services (CSCS) about the basis for the M-A-C AIDS-funded Project SEE (see above).

Andrew Shippy spoke about ROAH at a March symposium at the Pennsylvania/ Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, focusing on depression, stigma, and social networks. The symposium, sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was entitled "The Graying of HIV: An Aging and Growing Population."

New ACRIA Staff

Please join us in welcoming these new staff members:

Mervin Otero, Research Enrollment Coordinator, is ACRIA's new clinical trials recruiter, responsible for educating potential participants, case mangers, and providers on our enrolling and planned clinical trials. During Mr. Otero's fifteen years in HIV/AIDS services, he has been involved with the development of HIV/AIDS education and counseling programs for incarcerated men in the New York State Department of Correctional Services and assistance with the Osborne Association's anonymous HIV testing program.

Rafael Madrid is the HIV Health Literacy Program's new Local Technical Assistance Manager, succeeding Carlos Santiago. Mr. Madrid earned a Ph.D. in psychology in his native Chile and since then has been working in the HIV field. He has been a case manager at Aid for AIDS and Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center and has worked in an infectious diseases clinic as a health educator.

Benjamin Bashein is ACRIA's new Development Director, bringing with him ten years of experience leading fundraising and communications for not-for-profit organizations. Among the organizations with which he has worked are the Grand Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, Doctors of the World, and Amnesty International.

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This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.