Building Stronger Communities - One Project at a Time
In June 2006 the D.C. Department of Health launched a citywide routine HIV screening campaign, “Come Together D.C.—Get Screened for HIV,” the first of its kind in the United States. The overarching goals of the campaign were to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in an effort to reduce stigma, expand the availability of routine screening, reduce HIV transmission, and help newly diagnosed people begin receiving care and treatment. In 2006, Community Education Group staff tested just 275 high risk heterosexuals in Ward 7 and 8 of the District. Today, Community Education Group operates six mobile testing units and will test more than 5,500 persons for HIV in 2010 using the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions – Social Network testing theory combined with the Real AIDS Prevention Project (RAPP).
Community Education Group has also developed a model of linkage and referral which yields a 80% confirmed linkage rate; ensuring individuals who test positive are confirmed in care (establishing new medical homes for newly identifies positives or new medical homes for high risk negatives); re-linking those who have fallen out of care, and confirming care for all persons. This effort, while time intensive, ensures persons establish much needed linkages to primary medical care services.