UH Nurses Work With the Community to Educate About HIV and HIV Prevention
With the increase of HIV infections in women and youth (ages 18-24), nurses with UH’s Special Immunology Unit (SIU) are working hard to educate the community about HIV and HIV prevention.
Some of their activities include teaching classes, participating in community health fairs, and facilitating a workshop in which a group of youth with HIV spoke with students from Glenville High School to promote awareness and prevention.
In addition, they participated in the weekly health fair that was held at the Otis Moss clinic every Friday from August to September.
Beyond promoting awareness and prevention in the community, the SIU staff is dedicated to helping improve the lives of those living with HIV.
The SIU has support groups for HIV-positive women and youth. These groups bring in speakers to talk about self-esteem, financial literacy, healthy relationships, resume-building and other life skills. They also serve as a foundation of support and socialization for patients, who often feel isolated because of their HIV status.
They are currently developing a “vertical” group for those who were born with HIV, as it has become evident that there are issues unique to this population.
The SIU staff believe that holding these groups promotes compliance with meds and MD appointments.
This is evidenced by the viral loads of the youth in particular – many of the youth who were not virally suppressed before groups were initiated have subsequently now become suppressed. Viral suppression is key in avoiding transmission.