#NHASeverywhere: The Bros in Convo Initiative Creates Leadership Opportunities
The Bros in Convo Initiative (TBICI)Exit Disclaimer, a comprehensive health and wellness education, linkage, and peer support organization for Central Florida’s gay and queer communities of color, is the next story as HIV.gov continues its #NHASeverywhere series. #NHASeverywhere features the outstanding work being done in communities across the nation to help reach the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2022-2025) (NHAS).
The Bros in Convo Initiative #NHASeverywhere Story
TBICI’s programming aligns with NHAS objective 3.3: Engage, employ, and provide public leadership opportunities at all levels for people with or who experience risk for HIV. For example, they have adapted and expanded their capacity-building programming to include ELEVATE, a leadership development training program for people of color living with HIV in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health. The program provided participants with mentorship, skills, and tools for becoming actively engaged in planning bodies and other efforts to address the goals of the NHAS. Executive Director Daniel J. Downer spoke with HIV.gov about TBICI’s training and programming.
“We made the training our own by including nuances specific to our community and addressing lessons learned, local data, and intersectionality,” Downer said. “We also addressed potential barriers for people, including transportation and meals, and conducted an accessibility assessment to ensure that the training was accessible. Our lunch table events with community leaders and the healing circle were other personal touches incorporated into the training.”
Downer said TBICI also supports the quality of life and well-being of individuals living with HIV by expanding the focus of programs and services to address social determinants of health such as transportation and technology equity, as well as emotional health and food insecurity. “Being able to address these tenants of health has really helped us to educate, empower, and inform our community when it comes to positive health outcomes,” he said.
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS)
Released by the White House on World AIDS Day 2021, the NHAS sets forth bold targets for ending the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. It articulates goals, objectives, and strategies to prevent new infections, treat people with HIV to improve health outcomes, reduce HIV-related disparities, and better integrate and coordinate the efforts of all partners to achieve the targets for ending the epidemic, including the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. EHE is complementary to the NHAS and is a Department of Health and Human Services-led initiative that directs resources into 57 priority jurisdictions that make up more than half of U.S. HIV transmissions.
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