New York: A Call to Action Against HIV/AIDS
June 18, 2007
"Disproportionate Impact! Women of Color and AIDS," was the theme of a forum held Friday in Buffalo. Assembly member Crystal Peoples (D-Buffalo) told the more than 60 attendees, "The face of AIDS has changed very rapidly. The numbers of black and Latino women affected are rising quickly. But the disease is totally, 100 percent preventable. You don't have to get it, and you don't have to die from it." Group Ministries Inc., part of the Communities of Color Coalition of New York State, sponsored the forum.
According to the state Health Department, 31.8 percent of people with HIV/AIDS in the eight counties of western New York in 2005 were women. In those counties, African-Americans and Hispanics accounted for 57.4 percent of all documented HIV/AIDS cases.
During the forum, workshops focused on disease-prevention strategies, cultural competency, and advocacy. Monica Brown, manager of the HIV Services Department at the American Red Cross Buffalo Chapter, introduced the SISTA strategy in the disease-prevention workshop. SISTA teaches assertiveness skills and inspires confidence to help African-American women effectively communicate with their partners.
The cultural competency workshop focused on culture-based counseling strategies and the skills required to work effectively in diverse communities. Belle Walls Montree, vice president of behavioral health services of Child & Family Services of Erie County, encouraged participants to deepen their understanding of their own social and cultural identities in order to avoid stereotyping others.
Vincent Marron, a lobbyist of Public Strategies LLC, presented advocacy strategies and lobbying techniques for nonprofit organizations.
06.16.07; Lauren Mariacher
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.