The Centers for Disease Control named PHMC as one of five agencies in Pennsylvania to receive funding for HIV-prevention programs. The grant funds two new PHMC programs that target ethnic and racial minorities. Akil Pierre, project coordinator of PHMC’s PALMS (Preventing AIDS Through Live Movement and Sound) Project, spearheads the projects. The first program, called Sisters Informing Healing Living Empowering (SIHLE) uses group sessions to discuss HIV prevention with African-American teen girls, while also highlighting cultural and gender pride. SIHLE provides participants with free testing, referrals and counseling services. The second program, called Young Sisters in Charge, reaches out to young African-American women and provides counseling and testing twice a month. Both programs are scheduled to begin winter 2011.

The Mazzoni Center, a health center for Philadelphia’s LGBT population, also received funding for Get Real—a social marketing, community-level intervention program it manages in collaboration with PHMC. Get Real uses the narratives of local men, ages 15-29 to spark discussions about HIV prevention. The program, which aims to reach black and white men, facilitates frank discussions about safe sex, HIV/AIDS risk and general health and well-being of participants. Get Real targets substance-using men who have sex with men through media communications and interpersonal networking. The program seeks to change risk behavior and social norms that contribute to HIV risk.


To learn more about the grant, read the full story as featured in The Philadelphia Gay News.