Our Organization, SisterLove, Inc. is the oldest nonprofit of its kind in the Southeastern United States. For over 31 years, we have worked to end HIV, protect those who live with it, and educate the public to influence the cultural and political attitudes that define the landscape of our collective response as a society to this unprecedented health crisis. Our work is multilateral, spanning public health, public policy, community research, health and wellness education for individuals, corporations, and political leaders, and as a champion for all things Reproductive Justice. The core of our work, however, revolves around our founding ethos, to protect and serve those living with/affected by HIV. It is our testing, treatment, and counseling program that is flagship of SisterLove, Inc. Those that walk in to our doors seeking these services are often facing the web of intersectional challenges that ensare those living in underprivileged, underserved, and overlooked communities. When members of our community, here in Southwest Atlanta, visit us, they often face material challenges in other areas of their lives. It is in the spirit of providing holistic care and attention to the intersectional needs of our community, that we crafted our Community Resource Guide (CRG). This guide is a living index of service providers, informational resources, and material support that can be easily used and distributed to those who need it most, at home here in Atlanta, across the United States, and beyond.
Our Community Resource Guide is the perfect host for the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health/Health and Human Services’ (NLM/NIH/HHS/HHS) informational resources and online tools. The resources offered there not only appeals to those who are directly affected by HIV, but also those who are seeking information for loved ones and others that they care for. We framed our inclusion of those resources in the spirit that they were created: easy to access, contextualized by relevance to specific interests and needs, and touching on the social pulse of contemporary society. We integrate mentions and direct links to these resources in our blog posts and emails that highlight specific issues, such as Mental Health Awareness Month, Bisexual Health Awareness Month, and Women’s Health Week. We also directly highlight them in the index of the CRG itself.
The utility of the CRG, and the NLM/NIH/HHS resources therein, has already been demonstrated to us. A recent case exemplifies this in particular: one of our constituents who sought testing in the past had questions about the intersection between HIV and Diabetes. We were able to not only use the resource page on HIVInfo relating to that topic to articulate important information to them, we could direct them to the page themselves, which allowed them to develop a personal understanding of the risks and common concerns related to their conditions. Empowering those we serve with knowledge and access to life-saving information requires such easy-to-understand references. In this regard, the NLM/NIH/HHS resources have been indispensable. We are adapting our CRG into a mobile and web application which allows for real-time editing and dynamic display across all browser platforms. This ensures equal access to these resources, regardless of time, place, or socioeconomic background. Stay up to date on developments on this project by visiting our blog and view the current version of the Community Resource Guide on our website.
And remember, Healthy Loving is Healthy Living!
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