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NEW HAVEN

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WATERBURY

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BRIDGEPORT

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STAMFORD-NORWALK

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DANBURY

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HARTFORD

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CONNECTICUT

Region 6: Hartford

Between November 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021, HIV stakeholders in New Haven, Waterbury, Bridgeport, Stamford/Norwalk, Danbury and Hartford participated in a series of facilitated planning sessions to envision what needed to occur to end the HIV epidemic in their communities. Participants included staff of organizations providing HIV prevention and care services, planning body and task force members, and representatives of advocacy and community groups.

 

To date, more than 115 individuals have participated. For many of these people, it was the first time they had been formally asked to take part HIV planning process. Additional organizations will take part through April 30, 2021.

 

Click on the links(s) below to see the outcome of the planning activities that have occurred in this region.

Bristol Mayor's Task Force on HIV/AIDS

Positive Prevention CT

Messaging


  • Bringing messages to people (radio, Hulu, etc.)

  • Porn industry to provide sex education

  • Enhanced sexual education (starting in middle schools)

  • Increased anti-stigma messaging: status inclusive

  • Status-neutral approach to messaging

  • Culturally specific outreach to highly impacted communities (messaging)

  • Getting more celebrities/influencers involved (not just World AIDS Day)




Prioritizing a Cure


  • Virus can be cured - You're getting a cure, not a treatment

  • Political will/desire to find a cure (like COVID)




Normalizing/Routinizing HIV Services


  • Opt-out testing

  • Routine or universal opt-out HIV testing

  • Incentivize providers to test for HIV

  • Normalize/routinize HIV testing

  • Equitable care across the HIV continuum

  • Transparency of medical records of the person

  • Drop-in centers with services inside

  • Uniform rapid start entry to care

  • Tele-PrEP

  • HIV cure or vaccine is free or covered, like COVID




Health Care Access


  • Increase access to PrEP - free programs, same-day PrEP everywhere

  • Having Universal Healthcare will reduce barriers and stigma

  • Promote PrEP to providers and consumers (access)

  • People understand their options for contraceptives and protection




Legislative Policy Change


  • Revise laws that restrict sex

  • Mandatory comprehensive health screening

  • Legalize everyday purchasing of insertive condoms

  • Uniform data collection and reporting, RW and non-RW




Education


  • Sex education more standardized & earlier

  • Universal age appropriate sexual health education

  • Comprehensive sex education

  • Promote sex health therapists/therapy

  • Educate more HIV+ individuals about PrEP

  • Educate PrEP to providers and consumers

  • Comprehensive, culturally competent, age appropriate sex education




Community Engagement


  • Broaden collaborations outside of HIV (referral networks)

  • Culturally specific outreach to highly impacted communities (networks)

  • Getting more celebrities/influencers involved (not just on World AIDS Day)

  • Fostering leadership opportunities for PLWH

  • LGBTQ support spaces in rural communities

  • Local informed organized groups and community





Hartford Part A Planning Council

Promote Awareness and Education


  • Sex education in schools

  • More sex education for children in schools

  • Mandated HIV/STD/PrEP education for all school systems

  • Comprehensive sex education for youth - positive sex environment

  • Comprehensive sex education in schools

  • Community-based HIV education - parents and other adults

  • Expanding urban social support

  • More PSAs

  • Accurate education on the internet

  • Publicized town halls

  • Make health literacy tools available in age and culturally appropriate ways (tech and other info)




Expanding Prevention Initiatives by Increasing Community Buy-In, Involvement and Engagement


  • Educating the community about their position in the ending the HIV epidemic

  • Undetectable = Untransmittable

  • Increase access to PrEP

  • Broaden the discussion about PrEP

  • U=U promoted throughout the state

  • Using technology to have providers engage in U=U, medication adherence with clients

  • Focus groups by sub-population

  • Offer PrEP in correctional facilities

  • Encourage individuals to share their interests to improve PLWH self-reliance




Promoting Advocacy and Policy


  • Apply Covid science and outreach fervor to HIV - access to care, treatment, no stigma

  • Health insurance coverage for whatever is in the toolbox for safer sex

  • HIV testing incorporated into lab panels

  • Anti-Stigma campaign with multiple components

  • HIV training for providers and staff at all levels

  • Anti-Stigma and cultural competency with providers




Addressing Health Equity


  • Routinizing and normalizing HIV and STI testing and treatment in Connecticut

  • Statewide mandate for testing

  • Federally mandated funding for HIV vaccine and development

  • Structural interventions prioritized by populations most impacted - people of color

  • Address the digital divide for vulnerable populations

  • Increase literacy for technology use




Increase Access and Engagement for PLWH


  • At-home blood draws for HIV labs and tests

  • More robust one-on-one navigation system, visiting nurses, etc.

  • A way to connect newly-diagnosed clients with a mentor

  • Incentivize those who are lost to care




Expanding the Continuum of Care


  • Mental health services need to be more available

  • Targeted outreach to specific populations, especially opioid users





Resources and Ending Stigma


  • End stigma

  • Stigma is still here-people shouldn't have to live differently

  • Increased collaboration on addiction and HIV to end stigma

  • Create a resource/website to connect to more holistic treatment (HIV and other)

  • One central database for all services




Government Involvement - The Big Picture


  • Vaccine for COVID - Where's the vaccine for HIV?

  • Increased funding

  • More transportation or comprehensive service sites in every region




Education and Support


  • Peers in schools for people to talk to

  • Better protection methods - people are still reluctant to use protection

  • Survivor/mentor mentee

  • Bringing more awareness for HIV/AIDS - youth know more about HIV and other STDS

  • Community events/awareness campaign

  • Increased education on addiction and HIV to youth




Health Care Access


  • Increase access to PrEP - free programs, same-day PrEP everywhere

  • Having Universal Healthcare will reduce barriers and stigma

  • Promote PrEP to providers and consumers (access)

  • People understand their options for contraceptives and protection




Increased Access to Care


  • Increased education on addiction and HIV to youth

  • All medical providers have updated treatment and referral information

  • Doctor's care to have you be engaged in your own treatment, wellness and health

  • Access to healthcare and healthcare coverage

  • Mental health services more readily available

  • Easy access to HIV testing, (transportation, trained staff, etc.)