Black and Latino LGBTQ people in Memphis can hang out in a new space where they’ll feel safe and become empowered about HIV and related health issues. Fittingly, The Haven celebrated its opening with an event on Sunday, February 7, which marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD).
Among other services, The Haven offers free HIV and hepatitis C testing, condom distribution and peer-to-peer educational sessions via Mpowerment. The center also provides access to pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP), meds that can prevent HIV-negative people from contracting HIV. Bilingual assistance is available.
“The Haven is here to lift our community up,” Anthony Hardaway, prevention outreach specialist at The Haven, told WMC Action News 5. “We want to connect, educate and empower our community and help provide reliable access to the support and strength people need to live their best lives.”
“When we educate ourselves more about HIV/AIDS and how it stigmatizes different communities—whether it’s LGBT+ communities or the Black community or the Latinx community—the more we know, the less we’ll stigmatize, the more we’ll use preferred pronouns, the more we’ll be relaxed in having those conversations,” added prevention manager Krista Thayer.
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The Haven is operated by Friends for Life, an AIDS service organization founded in 1985 that reaches clients across eight counties spanning Tennessee and Mississippi. Friends for Life offers wraparound services for clients living with HIV, such as housing assistance, meal programs, a food pantry, advocacy outreach, linkage to care, medical case management and assistance for those newly diagnosed. Friends for Life also provides HIV and hepatitis C testing and prevention services, such as education, condom distribution and help accessing PrEP and PEP. (For more information about PrEP and PEP, see the POZ Basics on HIV Prevention.)
You can earn more about the services and history of Friends for Life on its website and in the video profile above.
The Haven is located at 622 Minor Road. Visit the website at TheHaven901.org, or call 901-333-8245.
Did you know that in 2019, African Americans represented 13% of the U.S. population but made up 43% of new HIV cases? In the South, they accounted for 52% of HIV diagnoses. You can learn more about HIV among African Americans—and several other minority populations—by visiting the HIV/AIDS Basics on POZ.com and clicking on the “HIV in Specific Populations” section. And check out the information in the write-up for 2021’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NBHAAD).