"Youth in the United States account for a substantial number of HIV infections. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men account for most new infections in the age group 13 to 24; African American or Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men are especially affected. Continual HIV prevention outreach and education efforts, including programs on abstinence, delaying the initiation of sex, and negotiating safer sex for the spectrum of sexuality among youth—homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, and transgender—are urgently needed for a new generation at risk" (CDC, Who’s At Risk for HIV?).
Community PASSAGES (Programs Addressing Substance abuse, STIs, and AIDS through Guidance and Education while providing Solutions) of Winston-Salem State University with community partners delivers innovative services targeting minority/ethnic youth & young adults (ages 18-24). PASSAGES employs education, assessment, testing and varied evidence based intervention/prevention strategies focusing on substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/HCV.
Community PASSAGES will implement socially relevant outreach via social media, youth-centered activities and referral. In conjunction with traditional marketing methods these efforts will provide timely, relevant, and effective content on sexual, substance, and tobacco product abstinence as well as safer sex/no sex practices. The program will employ transitional activities to promote self-awareness and critical thinking with the intent that this will lead to voluntary testing by the program participates and subsequent bridging to integrated health services and programs targeted to reduce health disparities, both mental and physical. In parallel with the intent of the request for application, Community PASSAGES will seek to educate, engage, and enable the minority youth and young adults, ages 13 – 24, in our catchment area.
"Compared with other age groups, younger Americans are least likely to be retained in care or have their virus in check" (CDC, Turning the Tide on HIV, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Annual Report 2013). Because the program will provide a continuum of services, education, testing and mitigating treatment, the aligned purposes of the request for application and Community PASSAGES will be met.
The goal of Community PASSAGES is to provide a coordinated response to reduce the incidence and prevalence of substance abuse, the transmission of HIV/HCV and related health disparities among at risk minority/ethnic youth & young adults (ages 18-24) by integrating mental health services, primary care and alternative health therapies.