For the second year in a row, the School of Public Health at Georgia State University has graduated a group of community members trained to provide outreach services to high-risk populations in metro Atlanta affected by HIV/AIDS.
The Linkage to Care Peer Guide Training Program, run by the School of Public Health’s Community Research Center, trains peer guides to reach people in metro Atlanta who are HIV-positive but have fallen out of medical care. After completing 10 weeks of instruction, the peer guides are placed with local AIDS service organizations, where they complete another 10 weeks of supervised internships.
The demographics of the program’s peer guides mirror the populations most affected by HIV in Atlanta — young Black, gay men and transgender women of color. The program recently graduated its second group of seven peers guides.
The program is funded by a grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Dr. Donna Smith, a faculty member at the School of Public Health who is leading the project, notes that transgender women are one of the groups hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. They also tend to be marginalized by society, sometimes even within the gay and lesbian community.
To learn more about the Linkage to Care program, go to: http://community.publichealth.gsu.edu/