Texas: Taking Up the Fight
May 3, 2010
A CDC-funded HIV prevention project is targeting young black men who have sex with men (MSM) in Dallas County. Operating out of a Commerce Street storefront in Deep Ellum, the four-year, $1.6 million program uses peer-to-peer outreach and goes beyond safe-sex education by addressing some of the underlying challenges these men face, including homophobia and discrimination.
"These are young men who haven't learned to communicate about sex, much less safer sex," said Kegeles. "Even the most basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS is lacking in this group."
Upcoming UBE outreach opportunities include a picnic, fashion show, weekly coffee, a worship service and an event called "Queerly Speaking." UBE uses Facebook and MySpace to get its message out. "We also do outreach in gay clubs," said Jones.
To date, UBE has reached more than 300 black men, mostly ages 18-29. When the pilot ends next year, a survey will assess rates of HIV testing and safe sex in this population. HIV infection rates will be compared to peers in Houston not involved in prevention efforts. If successful, UBE will likely be duplicated in other US cities.
For more information, visit http://ubedallas.org.
Dallas Morning News
04.29.2010; Sherry Jacobson