HIV/AIDS Prevention

cindyMatthew 25’s AIDS Prevention Team uses innovative techniques to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, and thanks to the collaborative efforts within the tri-state community, prevention and outreach efforts have expanded. Safe Behavior kits are  distributed to area locations to help promote risk reduction. The prevention team of Matthew 25 AIDS Services also offers confidential HIV/Hepatitis C testing in numerous outreach locations. This is all due to the great efforts of the prevention team, the wonderful volunteers, and the area organizations.

Matthew 25 AIDS Services has been able to complete thousands of free HIV/Hepatitis C tests throughout the area due to the ability to offer testing in more accessible, non-clinical and confidential settings.

Matthew 25 also participates in numerous health fairs and national conferences, conducts HIV-101 educational trainings, and participates in several area functions.

Not only is Matthew 25 AIDS Services actively involved in prevention awareness within the tri-state region, but we also have been active with national conference participation and presentation on successful HIV prevention efforts as well as holding events such as National Black HIV Awareness Day, National HIV Testing Day, the AIDS Walk, and World AIDS Day.

Administrator, Cyndee Burton has been honored as one of the top ten Registered Nurses for Excellence in HIV Care in the nation by The Body.com. Our entire prevention team participates with area Collaborative Partners, and held a very successful meeting with the AIDS Resource Group and the Evansville Black Coalition to continue in all of our efforts in continuing HIV prevention and care services.

Matthew 25 AIDS Services, Inc. has come a long way in just a few years… even over the last 525,600 minutes we are finding that we have been able to greatly increase our visibility and accessibility. All of this is due to the wonderful volunteers and the support of the community.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Making Proud Choices is an HIV/AIDS and STD prevention program for high risk youth. The Making Proud Choices program is based on social learning theory, which links feelings, attitudes, and thoughts to behavior change. Making Proud Choices is conducted over a six- to eight-week period with 10-12 youth. The program consists of eight 1 ½ to 2 hour group sessions, one individual counseling session, and one visit to a community-based organization that provides healthcare. Each session has specific goals on HIV/AIDS, STDs, pregnancy prevention, coping and negotiation skills, personalized risk behaviors and reducing drug and alcohol use. Group members participate in scripted and non-scripted role plays, activities, and video production.

Target Population
The Making Proud Choices program targets high risk youth, ages 11 to 18.

Research Results
After Making Proud Choices was implemented, it yielded these results:

  • Participants reported lower rates of substance use and unprotected sex acts.
  • After the group sessions, young women self-reported greater reductions in substance abuse and unprotected sex acts than young men.
  • African-American youth self-reported less substance use than youth of other ethnic groups.

This is not a distant threat; it is a present danger. We may take refuge in our stereotypes, but we cannot hide there long. Because HIV asks only one thing of those it attacks: Are you human? And this is the right question: Are you human? Because people with HIV have not entered some alien state of being. They are human. They have not earned cruelty and they do not deserve meanness. They don’t benefit from being isolated or treated as outcasts. Each of them is exactly what God made: a person. Not evil, deserving of our judgment; not victims, longing for our pity. People. Ready for support and worthy of compassion.

Mary FisherAIDS Activist