A project of WASHINGTON REGIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRANTMAKERS
The Washington AIDS Partnership brings together ideas, people, & resources to fight HIV/AIDS in the Washington, DC metro region
What is the Washington AIDS Partnership?? We are a committed group of individuals and organizations striving to prevent new HIV infections and help those living with HIV/AIDS in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Each year, the Partnership raises money from people like you to support the most effective, life-saving HIV programs in our region, including HIV/AIDS prevention education for young people, HIV testing, support for front-line HIV/AIDS workers, and connecting people living with HIV/AIDS to medical care. In 2012, the Partnership helped the local community provide more than 12,000 people with information about how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS, preventing countless HIV infections. The Partnership also operates two other life-saving programs:
Youth Development: The Partnership recruits, trains, and mentors a team of 12 young people each year who commit to a year of full-time volunteer service at local HIV/AIDS organizations and health service providers in the Washington, DC region. In exchange for their service, team members receive a small living allowance. Each individual is a critical resource to the community. The 2011-2012 team conducted 1,527 HIV testing and counseling sessions, and provided life-saving HIV education to 2,952 individuals. Not only do they help people drastically improve their lives, but the young people also leave the program transformed:
As a member of the Washington AIDS Partnership team, I was placed at Joseph's House for my year of service. My work there was unlike any work I had ever done or will do again. I shared in a process of living and dying with the men of Joseph’s House that taught me invaluable lessons as well as served to redirect my personal goals and ambitions. Moreover, the experience taught me about the world of homelessness, sickness, pain, and drug use, a world that far too frequently gets distorted, ignored, or forgotten. I have little doubt that someday when I look back on my year of service I will be unable to properly examine my experiences without seeing the impact they had on the rest of my life.
Access to Care: Thousands of D.C. residents living with HIV/AIDS fail to get medical care despite knowing their status. Shame, stigma, and a confusing health care system are just a few reasons for this problem. The Washington AIDS Partnership’s Positive Pathways program places peer community health workers in D.C. neighborhoods to identify individuals living with HIV/AIDS and help them re-enter and navigate the health care system. Through Positive Pathways, over 500 individuals have been connected to medical care in the last eighteen months. A success story from Positive Pathways:
“Mary” was a client who was out of care for almost a year, not responding to calls from her doctor. “Anita,” the community health worker, tried to reach her for weeks by phone, email, and home visits. When Mary was finally reached by Anita, they discussed why she was not getting medical care. Mary spoke candidly about her anger at being HIV+. She was not taking her medications properly because they were a constant reminder that she was sick. Anita spoke of her own experiences with HIV, the importance of taking medication regularly, and encouraged Mary to make a doctor’s appointment. As a result of Anita’s efforts, Mary has been getting the medical care she needs, her health has improved tremendously, and she is even back in school.
For more information on the Washington AIDS Partnership, an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, please visit the Partnership’s website: www.washingtonaidspartnership.org.