Communities of Color (COC)
Health Care Forums
ACR Health periodically conducts health care forums targeted to educate certain at risk populations. African American and Hispanic persons represent one quarter of the U.S. population and account for more than half of new AIDS cases reported to the CDC.
- HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American men ages 35-44.
- African American and Hispanic children make up 80% of pediatric AIDS cases.
- 78% of HIV-infected women are minorities and most become infected through heterosexual transmission.
The CDC calls the HIV/AIDS epidemic a serious threat to the Hispanic community. Hispanics make up 14% of the U.S. population, but they account for 20% of new diagnoses.
Linkage & Navigation Services
The first thing a person newly diagnosed with HIV needs to do is see a medical provider and begin treatment. Prompt treatment makes a big difference in how much impact HIV/AIDS will have on your life and health. Your future sexual or injection drug use behavior could directly impact the health of your partner or partners. How do you reduce the risk of spreading HIV? Our trained professionals have the skills and the answers you need.
The goal of prevention case management services is to empower individuals to take charge of their lives and to connect them with the resources they need to make healthy life decisions (e.g., access to medical care, public assistance, housing assistance, domestic violence services, financial benefits, substance abuse treatment).
COC Heterosexual Services
Targets minority heterosexual populations with HIV prevention message
In response to the escalating HIV/AIDS crisis among heterosexual minority populations, ACR Health has highly effective Communities of Color Prevention (COC) Programs for the Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Central New York. The multifaceted empowerment program aims to decrease the rate of HIV STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), and viral hepatitis among heterosexual African-American and Latino men and women aged 18 and older at high risk for infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Black Americans represent 14% of the U.S. population but account for 44% of new HIV infections (2009) and 48% of new AIDS cases (2010).
85% of black women with HIV acquired HIV through heterosexual sex.
The HIV infection rate among Latinos in 2009 was nearly three times as high as that of whites.
Lanika Mabrey, Prevention Health Advocate, feels strongly about the importance of these outreach programs. "Unfortunately African Americans and Latinos are disconnected from the healthcare industry. ACR Health's services address this disconnect through education, empowerment, and resources that promote sexual health."
Through COC Heterosexual Services, participants and Prevention Health Advocates address behavioral detriments that may be putting them at risk, and are empowered to make behavioral changes. “I greatly admire the people we work with for their bravery in confronting stigma, their histories of trauma and abuse, and lives of addiction and strained resources," says Erin Bortel, Director of Prevention Services. "In the end I truly believe we can change the course of a life with one conversation."
To participate or learn more about COC Programs, call ACR Health at (800) 475-2430.
The MENS Project: Strategies to cut HIV/STD risk for men
Not long after the AIDS epidemic began in 1981, scientists discovered that HIV was most commonly spread through the exchange of bodily fluids during unprotected sex; and that condoms helped to stop the spread. Condom use increased and HIV rates dropped, but now HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) are on the rise again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this month that of the 50,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. annually:
61% are among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (2009).
New HIV infections among Black gay and bisexual men ages 13–29 increased by 48%.
In response to the increase of HIV among men who have sex with men, and particularly young men of color, ACR Health designed the MENS Project (Men Empowering and Nurturing Self) to address the needs of these men through empowerment activities. The MENS Project provides comprehensive prevention programming to include street outreach, STD (chlamydia and gonorrhea) screening, rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing, and comprehensive individualized prevention counseling in Syracuse, Watertown, and Utica. To learn more, call (800)475-2430