Wednesday, March 5, 2014

6 things you can do to align your Mpowerment with the National HIV AIDS Strategy

Mpowerment activities fit with "High Impact Prevention" (HIP).  Here we present 6 action items you can do to highlight how your Mpowerment (MP) is working within the National HIV AIDS Strategy (NHAS). When writing grants, highlight these items to secure and maintain funding for your MP.  Discuss these action items over with your co-coordinator, supervisor and Core Group. Do you have ideas?  Let us know what you think.

RELATED:  What is the Mpowerment Project? Download Module 1: Mpowerment Overview.

1.  Targeted, Widespread Condom & Lube Distribution. Your Mpowerment needs to be the go-to-headquarters for young men to grab their condoms and safer sex supplies. Be sure condoms, lube and fun safer sex information are located wherever young men congregate in your community. You could make Mpowerment containers that distribute condoms and lubes as well as promote your MP. Keep track of how many condoms you distribute during Formal Outreach (Social Events and Venue-Based Outreach in the community). 
Free condoms at The Q Austin

Encourage guys to take condoms and lubes to give to their friends. Make ‘travel packets ’with condom and lube that includes a promotional piece about your Project. Include swag like stickers and other fun items.  Mpowerment already does this, make sure your Project receives credit!

Add an additional column to your Publicity Plan that addresses condom distribution as well as material distribution. See Module 10: Publicity.  Module 10, Publicity is a free download when you register at 

RELATED: 6 Facebook and Twitter tips for your Mpowerment: via The Q Austin Mpowerment Dallas TX

Illumenate | Mpowerment Bloomington IN 

The "High Impact Condom Distribution" planing tool is available online here: High Impact Condom Distribution.  You can share the good work you are already doing!  ..."share thoughts, ideas on condom distribution and access planning tools focused on building high impact condom distribution programs for populations at highest risk."

2.  Use all that we do at Mpowerment to promote HIV testing. Mobilize the community to be tested every six months. Host on-going HIV testing at your Project Space. Current CDC guidelines suggest that sexually active gay and bi men need to be tested every six months.

While we would not recommend having testing at Formal Outreach Events (Large Events) - where interactive and fun safer sex outreach takes place , we do encourage promoting testing at these events:
  • Host regular testing hours at the space when young men are available to be tested. (i.e. every Tuesday 5 to 7pm). If your agency does not offer HIV testing services, collaborate with other providers.
  • Create HIV testing materials that go beyond the  'get tested' mantra.  Create materials that encourage men to know their status and be regularly tested.
  • Have materials that explore Informal Outreach, where peers encourage their friends to know their status.  Knowing ones status gives one power over situations as well as what choices to make. 
RELATEDHIV testing done the Mpowerment way.

3.  Create a safe space for EVERYONE, regardless of status.  Fight HIV stigma among your brothers. This really comes down to humanizing the virus and those who live with HIV.  Men who are HIV + are our brothers, our BFFs and our lovers and ourselves! One goal of MP is to create more friendship networks so that men can increase the amount of support they receive from the guys around them.
  • Place this goal on your next Core Group agenda. Brainstorm ways to create a safe and inclusive Project regardless of HIV status.
  • Have helpful resources ready for HIV services if anyone should need them. 
  • Promote local and national organizations committed to ending stigma among gay and bi men. Here are a few national sites:  Mr. Friendly,  The Stigma ProjectHIV Stops With Me and HIV Plus Magazine and Poz Magazine

4.  Plan activities and/or collaborate with organizations that reach young men living with HIV.  HIV + men play an important role in HIV prevention. Projects create support groups for their participants living with HIV, sponsor events specifically for HIV+ guys, and/or collaborate with groups that have already formed. HIV Prevention at Mpowerment is not just an activity just for HIV negative men

Q Plus hosted by The Q Austin, Mpowerment TX

 5. Create HIV Prevention safer sex messages and sexual risk reduction materials that target young men living with HIV. Have conversations that support HIV positive men. Here are a few ideas:
  • "Take your meds and visit your doctor regularly, because "MEDS SAVE LIVES. Stay healthy, stay safe, stay strong"
  • "We’re living with HIV. Condoms give us the freedom to love each other in different ways. We stay protected. We protect each other."
  • “HIV Stops With Me. I’m HIV + and I use condoms to protect my brothers.”
  • "I’m living with HIV.  I can prevent HIV. HIV prevention is our shared responsibility.”

6. Advertise how your MP accomplishes the objectives of the NHAS  with your agency, grant-writers, funders and other influentials. 
  • Create a material for your agency and funders that announces how many condoms have been distributed and how many tests have been delivered by your Mpowerment Project. 
  • Highlight these accomplishments and other relevant NHAS talking-points in your monthly reports.
Have comments? We continue to offer Skype, telephone and web-based technical assistance, we encourage you to talk to use whenever possible.

Somos OC | Mpowerment Orange County CA

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