April/May #187 : Talk of the Town - by Trenton Straube

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Recovering Your Life

Navigating Treatment as Prevention

From the Editor

High Hopes


Letters-April/May 2013


Positive Support

POZ Planet

Return to Sender

Old-School Kicks

My Bloody Valentine

Talk of the Town

Safe Sex 3.0

Bar None

Coming Attractions


What Would You Do?

Care and Treatment

The Heart of Cardiovascular Risks

E-Reminders Help Patient Outcomes

HIV Docs Slow on Early Treatment

TasP in the Real World

An Almost Normal Life Expectancy?

Research Notes

Prevention: Spinning Beyond Latex and Gels

Treatment: Fulyzaq Approved for Diarrhea Relief

Cure: Embryo Survival Gene to Control HIV

Concerns: HIV-Positive Smokers Lose More Years

POZ Survey Says

Facing Discrimination

POZ Heroes

Not Lost in Translation

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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April / May 2013

Talk of the Town

by Trenton Straube

Rebooting Iowa's Siouxland AIDS Coalition.

When Elisabeth Giles would offer HIV tests to younger folks at the Siouxland Community Health Center in Iowa, she’d often hear, “That’s not still around is it?” Alarmed by the lack of awareness, Giles, an HIV social worker, joined with colleagues from Planned Parenthood and the district health department to rejuvenate the defunct Siouxland AIDS Coalition.

“Although we are rural,” Giles says, “we are an industrial city in a tri-state that has a wide demographic berth”—including a large African refugee population. Most of the new diagnoses are among young minority men who have sex with men.

“People are not having conversations here about [sexually transmitted infections] and HIV health before they’re hooking up,” Giles says, adding that people don’t want to get tested because they think it means something’s wrong with them.

To change that, the coalition helped youths put on skits about stigma; they held an HIV-themed fun run; and they made a local panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt. They even got the mayor to attended their World AIDS Day events—which grabbed headlines.

But personal dialogue is also key. “I wear my enamel lapel pin,” Giles says, “so people can say, ‘Is that for HIV?’” It’s a simple gesture, she says, that can build awareness and reduce stigma.

Search: HIV testing, youth, AIDS Coalition, Siouxland Community Health Center, HIV/AIDS awareness

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