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University Hosts HIV Prevention Training for Community Agencies

Grant-funded workshop aims to meet behavioral health needs of young gay and bisexual men at risk or living with HIV/AIDS

Posted in: Education, Health, Human Services, University

Workshop leader teaches in a classroom.
Andre Dawson, an empowerment coordinator, shares initiatives taking place in Newark, New Jersey, at the North Jersey Community Research Initiative – Project WOW to promote healthy behaviors and reduce stigma related to HIV/AIDS and to create a safe and affirming space for LGBTQ youth.

In efforts to provide substance misuse and HIV prevention services to racial/ethnic minority males, Montclair State University recently hosted intensive intervention training for community-based agencies working to meet the behavioral health needs of people who either are at risk for contracting or are living with HIV/AIDS.

The training was grant-funded through the work of Montclair’s partnership with the Communities Organizing for Prevention and Empowerment or C.O.P.E. Initiative. The highly successful program uses multi-tiered prevention strategies, including culturally tailored curricula about substance misuse , HIV/AIDS, and viral hepatitis.

Student listens in classroom.
Alicia Rivera ’22, the HIV navigation specialist for the C.O.P.E. Initiative, listens to a presentation on an HIV prevention program.

The Montclair State University/Paterson Prevention Navigator Initiative – led by professors Robert Reid and Pauline Garcia-Reid – received a $1 million grant from the Minority AIDS Initiative, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, under the Department of Health and Human Services. A portion of the grant funded the three-day training to teach community agencies how to implement the Mpowerment Project at the local level.

The co-sponsoring organization, the South Jersey AIDS Education and Training Center – NJ HIV Training and Capacity Development Program, made it possible for trainers from the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University of California, San Francisco, to bring their project to New Jersey. Mpowerment is a targeted HIV prevention program aimed at meeting the needs of young gay and bisexual men.

“We were incredibly fortunate to secure the services of CAPS to provide our prevention team and other community-based agencies around the country with the tools to engage our target population more effectively,” says Robert Reid, professor in the Department of Family Science and Human Development.

Three people sit at a table and one leans against a wall as they listen to a workshop presentation.
John Hamiga, a trainer from the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, in back, with participants taking part in the national program on the Montclair State University campus.

Photos by John J. LaRosa.

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