Research Article > Challenges and Approaches to Mobilizing Communities for HIV Prevention Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men of Color
At IMPACT, we are very happy to welcome Julia Dudek, MPH, as a member of our team! She serves as our Program Manager and holds an MPH in Community Health Sciences from the University of California Los Angeles, a BA in Cultural Anthropology from San Francisco State University, and a BFA in Graphic Communications from Washington University in St. Louis.
Prior to returning to Chicago, Julia worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she co-authored an article published in the Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community. Their qualitative study focused on seven Connect to Protect® (C2P) sites that mobilized their communities to decrease rates of HIV infection and transmissions among YMSM of color (12-24 years of age). C2P is a research project of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions.
Based on surveys with C2P Coordinators, the researchers identified specific challenges related to forming community partnerships, maintaining coalitions, and facilitating structural-level objectives across sites (Baltimore, Chicago, District of Columbia, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Philadelphia, and San Francisco). These challenges included:
(a) recruitment of partners to focus on YMSM of color
(b) organizational and community politics
(c) preserving existing funding and/or obtaining new funding at coalition partners’ agencies
(d) sustaining momentum of coalitions
(e) implementing structural-level objectives.
Among the successes reported by C2P Coordinators, the authors highlighted increased collaboration within coalitions by: (a) creating new opportunities for coalition partners to work together; (b) addressing specific areas of need for YMSM of color; and (c) brokering resources. As an example, the Los Angeles coalition received funding to support a coalition objective to bring LGBTQ resources to Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and staff and helped partner agencies in securing new funding.
As coalition building continues to grow as a mechanism to create structural-level changes in the battle against HIV, our research efforts may be informed by the struggles and successes reported by the C2P collaboratives.
Lin, A. J., Dudek, J. C., Francisco, V. T., Castillo, M., Freeman, P., Martinez, M., … & The Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. (2012). Challenges and Approaches to Mobilizing Communities for HIV Prevention Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men of Color. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 40(2), 149-164.