CLUB 1509: Addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in communities of color
Note: this post was written by Maurice McCants-Pearsall, MBA, who serves as a project coordinator for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, AIDS Activities Coordinating Office , and originally appeared in the special 2016 World AIDS Day issue of the Philadelphia Gay News. We thought it was a terrific overview of the CLUB 1509 project that AACO recently launched, which is the "umbrella" program that includes Mazzoni's Navigation Services along with partner programs operating around the city, all of which are aimed at changing the trajectory of HIV infections, specifically among young black and Latino MSM and transgender persons of color. It has been reposted by permission.
In February 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report where they projected that one in two black men who have sex with men (MSM) and one in four Latino MSM would be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. In Philadelphia, estimates suggest that 32 percent of black and 19 percent of Latino MSM have HIV. This is not far from the CDC estimate. Additionally, a CDC Issue Brief in September 2016 stated that transgender people, particularly transgender women, are vulnerable to HIV infection. Available evidence suggests that, in relation to their population size, transgender women are among the most heavily affected populations in the United States. So how do we approach prevention in a new way that can change the path of the CDC’s projections?