“UNITY IN COMMUNITY”: NATIONAL NATIVE HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY 2017
March 17, 2017 • By AIDS.gov
Monday, March 20, is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). According to its leaders , NNHAAD aims to :
- Encourage Native people to get educated and learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact in their communities
- Work together to encourage testing options and HIV counseling in Native communities
- Help decrease the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS
A key aspect of NNHAAD is education. Today we highlight selected resources for organizational education and change:
Federal Support to Address HIV in Native Communities
The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the principal federal healthcare provider and health advocate for Indian people. Through its HIV/AIDS Program, IHS works to address the impact of HIV among American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
IHS receives funding through the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF) that supports 7 continuation projects that are working to promote innovation and improve HIV prevention, care, and treatment outcomes for American Indians and Alaskan Natives. These 7 projects include efforts to improve provider and clinical capacity, improve HIV and HCV diagnosis and treatment, improve retention and re-engagement in HIV care, foster integration of mental health services, and improve HIV-related patient care and outcomes
Additional federal agencies use SMAIF funds to serve the needs of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Learn about SMAIF in this short, engaging video .
Social Media to Communicate About HIV
Organizers of the annual Circle of Harmony conference are offering a March 28th technical assistance webinar on how to use social media to get more out of events and conferences. Presenters will include social media experts from AIDS.gov. (This event is open to all and will start at 3:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. MT/noon PT; register here .)
Webinar organizers told us how this session supports the goals of NNHAAD:
“We have the opportunity to utilize innovative approaches and expand the reach beyond what has been done before through social media. We hope that making these skills available will benefit programming efforts and promote wellness in our tribal communities.” – Ayn N. Whyte, STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Manager, Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc.
“Social media is much more than just posts, likes, tweets, snaps, and shares. In order to leverage social channels, tribes and tribal organizations have to think outside the box and beyond ‘business as usual’ in order to broaden the reach and impact of prevention messages.” – Kurt Begaye, Capacity Building Specialist
What Works in Youth HIV (a SMAIF-supported project) recently offered the “Supporting Native Youth Wellness through HIV Prevention Strategies” webinar. Speakers described how social determinants of health affect HIV risk for Native youth and how cultural strengths can support holistic health. The session also highlighted innovative models for working with Native youth. The archived webinar will soon be posted on the site.
We encourage continued education to enhance the collective response to HIV in Native communities, for NNHAAD and beyond.