Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
HIV in the South: How Community Health Workers are Improving Outcomes and Addressing Stigma and Discrimination
Wednesday, July 11
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Salon H
Across the United States, especially in the South, stigma and discrimination are systemic barriers to accessible, effective, and equitable healthcare and prevent individuals from seeking out and obtaining services that can improve their health and even save their lives. Stigma and discrimination are markers of broader social injustices such as racism, classicism, and gender bias, greatly affecting the most marginalized and oppressed communities. The South experiences the greatest burden of HIV infection, illness, and deaths of any US region. The cyclical relationship between stigma and discrimination and HIV is well documented and continues to hinder the effort to combat the HIV epidemic in the South.
NACCHO’s Southern Initiative, a three-year project supported by the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau, supports four organizations in the South to implement community health worker (CHW) models that improve HIV outcomes and reduce disparities among minority populations. This session will feature speakers from two of the Southern Initiative organizations – CrescentCare in New Orleans and Avenue360 in Houston – who will share information about how they are using CHWs to combat stigma and discrimination in their efforts to increase linkage and retention in care. CHWs will share stories and reflections from their work to eliminate barriers and support their clients. Participants will learn about strategies for integrating CHWs into existing service delivery models and will be actively engaged in discussion about this work.